A DeLand police officer was dispatched to a supermarket in south DeLand on the afternoon of Nov. 2 regarding a shoplifting incident that the supermarket manager believed he had observed.
The manager and the police officer reviewed the store’s surveillance video of a pregnant woman who had entered the supermarket a short time earlier but who had soon walked out.
When she came in, she had “effortlessly” tossed a diaper bag into the front of her shopping cart. The officer noted that “The bag was slim, and did not appear to have anything weighing it down.”
The woman walked over to the meat department and picked up three rib-eye steaks and two T-bone steaks, then walked onto an aisle lacking video surveillance.
When the woman came back into view, the steaks were nowhere to be seen.
She then parked the cart, and lifted her diaper bag by one of its straps. The police officer said, “When [the pregnant woman] lifts the bag, however, the sides appear to be bulging, and do not collapse inward as it had been when she initially entered the store. It appears to take [the woman] more effort to sling it onto her shoulder before she walks out.”
Store employees searched the aisle that lacks surveillance equipment, where the woman went after she took the steaks from the shelf, and the employees could find no sign of the meat. The value of the stolen steaks was calculated to be $111.37.
A Volusia County sheriff’s deputy located the pregnant woman in Deltona, and the DeLand police officer arrested her.
However, while the officer was driving her to the Police Department, she claimed to be having “severe lower back and stomach pain.”
Worried about the woman’s unborn baby, the officer and his supervisor decided to let EVAC take her to the hospital; she would be charged by affidavit for shoplifting.
My unsolicited advice is for the woman to claim she took the steaks, but only because she was suffering from severe cravings.
By Keith Allen, based on local police-agency reports. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers, 1-888-277-TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward.