LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (FOX 2) - You hear about a lot of retail fraud around the holidays, but The Grinch That Stole Christmas at a Livingston County Walmart, took it to a whole new level.
It played out during the annual "Shop With a Cop" last weekend at the Walmart near Howell - meant to help kids in need. Police partnered with the little ones to help them shop.
"We bring children that might otherwise not have a good Christmas get to come to the store," said Lt. Rene Gonzalez, Michigan State Police. "They get $100, sometimes a $150 gift card to go and shop for themselves with your family."
The event included state troopers and police parading in lights and sirens, so it was very clear they were there. But for a 62-year-old shopper, it didn’t matter at all.
She loaded her cart up with about $730 worth of stuff and dashed through self-checkout.
"Groceries, clothes, all kinds of stuff," Gonzalez said. "It wasn't bagged up. And then she walked out of the store with it."
She ignored the clerk – who asked for her receipt and then out to her car, ironically parked right next to a police cruiser, and began loading up her sleigh.
Walmart told a trooper who had to leave his little shopping buddy behind, to stop the Grinch - who couldn’t produce a receipt for any of it.
Gonzalez remarked on the brazen nature of the caper.
"I do have to say it surprised me because when I'm driving a patrol car, people slow down," he said. "When you see 75 cops in the store, I mean, I don't know if maybe they thought we were too busy."
The trooper was able to get back to finish the event, but the 62-year-old woman was arrested.
She was taken to the Livingston County Jail, but bonded out – she will be charged with retail fraud. FOX 2 will release her name once she’s charged.
"I honestly think that’s something that you can't be in your right mind, doing something like that," said shopper Mariah Manion.
FOX 2 did a court records search of the suspect from this story – she doesn’t have any priors, just some traffic tickets out of East Lansing.