WASHINGTON CITY – A 28-year-old woman who allegedly stole a purse out of a Wal-Mart shopping cart was arrested Tuesday after authorities identified her by the WIC benefit checks she used at the store.
Officers responded to a theft report at Wal-Mart, 625 W. Telegraph Street in Washington, where a woman told police her purse was stolen out of her shopping cart, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Washington City Police Department in support of the arrest.
The purse reportedly contained cash, finance cards, a cellphone, a driver’s license and other personal documents.
Authorities watched Wal-Mart surveillance footage and observed a woman steal a purse out of a shopping cart before leaving the store and placing the purse in a vehicle, the statement said. The woman was identified as Megan Elisa Smalldon, of Washington City, by the WIC benefit checks she used at the store to purchase formula.
As officers were driving to Smalldon’s residence, they noticed her travelling in the vehicle from the surveillance footage and initiated a traffic stop, the statement said. When Smalldon was searched, officers located several of the stolen credit cards.
“I asked Megan where the purse was and she stated she had hidden the purse at her home,” the arresting officer wrote in the statement. “While en route to recover the purse, dispatch notified me one of the credit cards had been used at Family Dollar in Washington. I asked Megan if she used one of the stolen credit cards and she stated she had.”
Officers recovered the stolen purse from Smalldon’s home and she was subsequently arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Smalldon was charged with a third-degree felony for unlawful acquisition of a financial card, a class A misdemeanor for possession of another’s identifying documents, and four class B misdemeanors for knowingly using a false financial card and theft.
She is scheduled to make her initial court appearance Thursday afternoon in 5th District Court.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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