Police arrested a Northern California woman after she reportedly licked merchandise at a South Lake Tahoe supermarket, ruining almost $2,000 worth of groceries.
Officers responded to the Safeway location on Johnson Lane on Tuesday “for the report of a customer ‘licking’ groceries inside of the store,” the South Lake Tahoe Police Department said Wednesday in a news release.
Safeway employees said they witnessed the suspect putting “numerous pieces of jewelry” from the store on her hands, licking the jewelry and then loading her cart with about $1,800 of merchandise, the news release said.
Unlike other Safeways in Northern California, this particular El Dorado County location sells a number of nongrocery items, mainly for tourists, at the front of the store.
Local woman arrested after "licking" items inside a #SouthLakeTahoe grocery store. @SLakeTahoePD arrested her on felony vandalism charges after $1800 worth of merchandise compromised. She is in the @ElDoradoSheriff jail on $10,000 bail. #StayAtHome https://t.co/6eBEOaPcKT pic.twitter.com/4bdyAXJuXN— South Tahoe Now (@SouthTahoeNow) April 8, 2020
An employee told police that the jewelry and all other items in the shopping cart “were deemed unsellable due to the cross contamination,” according to the news release.
Officers made contact with the suspect inside the store and determined she was not able to pay for the items in her cart.
The woman, identified as 53-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident Jennifer Walker, was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism and booked into the El Dorado County jail, police said.