Editor’s note: this post originally referred to the subjects of the article as gypsies. The author did not intend any offense, and the language has been edited to provide a more accurate description of the group in question.
“They are young girls, anywhere from six to seven of them, decked out in designer wear, all with long hair,” said Krista Johnson, owner of Ella Rue. “They generally have one older woman with them. They make a mess. They throw clothing on the floor, put on sizes that are too small, and tear the clothing.”
The Travellers, according to the owner of Betsy Johnson, rarely steal merchandise though. Instead, they arrive with their screaming babies and sometimes wreak havoc by switching tags or removing sensors. But they sometimes shop –and when they do, they prefer to buy with hundred dollar bills and credit cards, according to the owner of Second Hand Rose.
According to Krista Johnson, the Travellers say they live in Sterling, Virginia. According to Johnson, “They all say they are living with their uncle, but most of them have babies or are pregnant. The children are very neglected. Their diapers are dirty.” It’s unclear how Johnson knows so much about them.
The owner of Second Hand Rose said, “[They arrived] like a storm—pretty, blond, big-busted, and they all have hundred-dollar bills. They spend.”
Still some stores–Urban Chic, Sassanova, Wink, and Second Time Around–haven’t encountered the Irish Travellers, according to The Washingtonian.
Also, the Travellers aren’t on Metropolitan Police Department’s radar because the owners of the stores haven’t filed official complaints. “I know some people don’t want them in their stores,… I might feel differently…. I’m not convinced they are thieves,” said the owner of Second Hand Rose. How tolerant Georgetown shop-owners are of people who spend hundreds of dollars in their shops.