A 24-year-old woman from Minneapolis has been arrested and charged with felony theft after she supposedly stole items from the Apple Valley Home Depot in December. What Dakota County prosecutors will have to prove, however, is that the woman knew that her friends were stealing from the Home Depot when she drove them away from the store.
An Apple Valley police officer responded to the incident when an eyewitness says that he or she saw two men confronting a woman with a cart near the store. The officer than spoke with the store manager and apparently discovered that a group of women had left the store with a cart full of merchandise. When two Home Depot employees spoke with the women, two of them got into a silver BMW and one left with the shopping cart.
By the time the officer caught up with the vehicle, all three women were in the vehicle. The two passengers admitted they had gone to the Home Depot, but it appears the driver, the 24-year-old woman who was charged, did not. If she was under the assumption that her friends had paid for the Home Depot merchandise in her trunk, it is unlikely that she could be convicted of aiding in this supposed theft.
Many people in Minneapolis may think that theft or shoplifting are relatively minor crimes and don’t have many negative consequences, but they are mistaken. To be charged with felony theft is extremely serious and has longer-lasting effects than just jail. Felonies have strict punishment and can make it extremely difficult to get a job after serving a sentence.
It remains to be seen what evidence prosecutors have that could lead to a conviction.
Source: Apple Valley-Rosemount Patch, “Woman Charged With Allegedly Helping to Steal a Cartload of Items,” Michael Garlitz, Sept. 5, 2012