woman in handcuffs

A woman accused of shoplifting at the Schnucks store in Festus reportedly told officers she had the COVID-19 coronavirus in an apparent attempt to avoid arrest. The incident happened March 28, Chief Tim Lewis reported.

Schnucks personnel told police the woman was in the store, 1181 W. Gannon Drive, twice that day. The first time, she allegedly stole items and got away. But, she returned later and allegedly tried again to steal items but wasn’t as successful, Lewis said.

“We got a call about 6:30 p.m.,” he said. “It’s a 41-year-old woman from the Sappington area of St. Louis County. She’d stolen things earlier in the day from the store; then returned. They followed her around and saw her shoplifting again.

“When officers came, she said she has COVID-19 and has been quarantined at a nearby hotel.”

Lewis said the woman’s story quickly fell apart and she was arrested.

“Everything she said was a lie,” he said.

The suspect was booked and released pending application for warrants, Lewis said.

Festus Police will seek stealing charges against her.