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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Teacher suspected in heist

Posted at 10:45 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 08:27:27-04

Caught on camera! 

In a story you'll see only on 13 Action News, a brazen heist of what could amount to felony grand theft. 

Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears explains why every parent will want to know who the suspected thief is.  

She's been dubbed the "Blonde Bandit" -- caught on camera at the center of an unprecedented heist.

"I have never heard of anything like this happening," said World of Pinot Noir President Leslie Mead Renaud.

On March 4, while hundreds of people were tasting and toasting at the World of Pinot Noir Grand Tasting in Santa Barbara, one woman was busy doing something else.

"Just really flabbergasted that the entire thing took place," said Renaud.

Renaud was packing up for the night when she noticed five cases of her wine -- worth more than $2,000 -- were missing.

"There were a bunch of other people looking around for their wine and that's when I heard that somebody had just walked off with cases. People from the resort also saw her. They thought that she was with the World of Pinot. The people with the World of Pinot thought that she was with the resort."

Surveillance video from the Bacara Resort shows the woman in her distinctive zigzagged black and white shirt at the hotel desk. 

Then, outside with at least one man loading cases of wine off a luggage cart and into a waiting truck. 

So could she have bought the wine?  Renaud says absolutely not.

"Because it's completely illegal for anybody to be able to buy or sell wine at the event."

Renaud says at least five people including herself had cases of wine stolen.

Estimated value? As much as $10,000.

The woman in the surveillance video is no ordinary suspected wine thief. 

She's actually someone who's supposed to be a role model for our children. 

According to police, her name is Heather Ogle, and she'ss a first-grade teacher at Goolsby Elementary off Desert Inn Road in Las Vegas.

Renaud was shocked to learn that, especially because of the brazen nature of the heist.

"I would say it's not their first time at the rodeo."

Contact 13 learned Ogle is well-known in the wine world.

"The person who identified her to me knew her as having been suspected of taking wine in the past," Renaud said.

Contact 13 obtained a photo of Heather Ogle, wine glass in hand, wearing the same distinctive top at a different event. 

The Santa Barbara county sheriff investigated and forwarded the case to the district attorney there with a recommendation for prosecution on charges of felony grand theft. 

Renaud says Ogle's attorney has already called her to broker a deal.

"She wanted to just write a check, trying to make everything go away. To me, if you just write a check for something, that's called making a purchase. And if you steal something, I think you should be prosecuted for it."

Darcy Spears spoke briefly with Heather Ogle on the phone. When we told her we were calling about the incident at the wine event, she said, "Can I call you back on that?" But she never did.  

So we went to see if we could catch her after school.

Darcy Spears on the phone: "Hi heather, it's Darcy Spears from Channel 13. I know you're avoiding me. You're not returning my calls. By now you probably know that we're waiting outside the school to talk to you. If you've got nothing to hide, you'll come out and talk."

She didn't come out. But her attorney called to say Ms. Ogle has not been charged with any crime. 

They're aware of the ongoing investigation and will not be making any comment at this time.

The day of the wine heist was a Friday. A school day. Meaning someone else was likely teaching Ms. Ogle's class while she was caught stealing on camera. 

We reached out to the Clark County School District, but our calls have not been returned.