A woman who pushed her way out of Walmart Market on Sunday with not one but two shopping carts loaded with laundry soap, disposable diapers and other merchandise tried to deny the deed after the van she left in was spotted and stopped with everything still inside.
But eyewitnesses, videotape and UPC codes on boxes and bottles of Tide detergent undermined her story, which was thin to begin with, according to Wauwatosa police.
The woman's case was expected to forwarded Monday to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, with police seeking charges of felony theft and felony bail-jumping.
According to police reports, at 6:15 p.m. Sunday officers were called to the store at 3850 N. 124th St. and given a description of a van and its three occupants that had already left.
Before anyone got to Walmart, a patrol officer passed a van matching the description on Capitol Drive and turned to follow, stopping the driver in the 4400 block of North 92nd Street.
He found three people inside – a man driving and two female passengers – and a whole lot of Tide detergent and sundry items, together valued at $521.60.
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The officer got the Walmart manager on the phone for a close description of the woman and the incident. It was clear to him from her close account that a woman in the rear seat was the theft suspect.
The store manager recounted that she and another employee had seen the suspect pushing and pulling two full carts through the self-checkout aisle without stopping to pay and heading for the doors.
The manager stopped the woman and asked to see her receipt for the goods. She said simply that she had paid but didn't have a receipt. Then she pushed past and out to the parking lot, ignoring demands that she stop.
The suspect quickly loaded everything into the back of the van, got in, and the three left, the manager said.
Over and over, the suspect insisted she had bought just a couple of items at the self-check counter, now claimed she did have a receipt for that, and she had no idea where the rest of the merchandise piled in the back of the van had come from. But no receipt could be found, and:
- The driver and owner of the van said none of the stuff was his, nor had it been in the van before they stopped at Walmart Market,
- Two close eyewitnesses from the store described her, the two cartloads of goods and the van to a T,
- Very clear video footage showed exactly what they described and gave an unmistakable image of her as the suspect, and
- When all the merchandise was scanned, it was all incontrovertably found to belong to the Walmart and none of it had been paid for.
The woman was also found to have a pending felony case in court and so was arrested for jumping bail. She was taken to the County Jail to await charges.