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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Walmart shopper arrested after not scanning merchandise in self-checkout lane

Lauren Ashley Switzer
Lauren Ashley Switzer

An Oxford woman detained for retail theft was found to be in possession of cocaine at Walmart in Leesburg.

Police responded to a retail theft at the store at 10:18 p.m. Friday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department. The officer contacted the loss prevention officer, who recounted the theft.

At around 10 p.m., the loss prevention officer observed from his office camera footage 32-year-old Lauren Ashley Switzer and her partner scanning items at a self-checkout register. Switzer would grab two similar items, hold them together and scan only one of the two. As she finished scanning, her partner would put them in bags. He was also moving unpaid items from the cart into grocery bags, the report said.

The loss prevention officer asked another store employee to assist him in the apprehension as he kept an eye on the pair, the report said. After they finished bagging, Switzer and her partner passed all final points of sale with the paid and unpaid items. The loss prevention officer confronted them and had them follow him to his office until law enforcement arrived.

The police officer was provided with a receipt that listed everything the pair stole. Among the items were pop sockets, thongs, sunglasses and various foods. The total amounted to $147.30 worth of stolen merchandise, the report said.

As the officers spoke, the police officer noticed Switzer was holding something. When asked what it was, she responded that it was “tampon stuff.” However, her left hand opened to reveal a small blue baggie containing white residue and a tin foil ball. Black burnt residue was found inside the ball, the report said.

The report also stated that a tied clear baggie was found between the Switzer and her partner. White powdered substance was inside that tested positive for cocaine. Looking through camera footage showed Switzer removing the items from her black backpack.

The officer then searched Switzer and her backpack, the report said. Located in her pocket was another small blue plastic baggie with white powdered residue. Inside the front pocket of her backpack were five cut plastic straws each containing white powdered residue and one small pair of pink tweezers.

Switzer was arrested and charged with petit retail theft less than $750, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was transported to the Lake County jail after completing the booking process and released after posting $3,500 bond.

Just last year, Switzer was arrested for trespassing at a Walmart in Buffalo Ridge Plaza.

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