Woman suspected of restaurant theft

A woman suspected of dining at a Laguna Beach restaurant without paying is back in custody.

Mary Patricia Taggart, 58, is charged with felony second-degree burglary with intent to commit larceny and defraud an innkeeper, according to a complaint filed with the Orange County District Attorney's office. The alleged incident occurred March 14 at Alessá restaurant on Forest Avenue, the complaint said. The D.A. also charged Taggart with felony theft with three prior convictions. She is accused of stealing personal property from Alessá.

Taggart spent $80 at Alessá on March 14, Laguna Beach police Sgt. Louise Callus said.

Taggart pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Monday and is in custody on $25,000 bail, said Farrah Emami, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office. Taggart has a pre-trial hearing Tuesday at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

Laguna Beach police officers have had Taggart on their radar for two years. The complaint lists eight violations since 2010.

"She dines and drinks and has no means to pay," Callus said.

Taggart spent $30 at Ocean Avenue brewery and restaurant on Dec. 11, Callus said. Taggart claims Laguna Beach as her city of residence, police said.

An Alessá manager could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

—Bryce Alderton

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