CHESTERTON | A Porter woman is being accused of stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise over the last six months from the local Kmart.
The 32-year-old woman was arrested by police Wednesday morning. Police have forwarded a complaint to the Porter County prosecutor's office seeking felony theft charges against her.
According to a police report, loss prevention officers from Kmart told police on Wednesday that the woman has come into the store weekly since October 2013. She enters with a large empty purse and allegedly fills the purse full of merchandise.
The woman allegedly pays for some items. Store officials said she has stolen women's and children's clothing, movies, video games and cosmetic items. They are aware of her identity because she uses her Kmart Rewards card when making purchases.
On Wednesday, the woman came in and loss prevention officers could see her on video take items and place them in her cart. She had with her a large purse that appeared empty. They later saw the purse was "bulging."
As she left the store, the alarm went off. The clerk attempted to stop her, but she kept walking and entered a vehicle.
That's when police were called. They were able to track down the woman and asked her to come to the Chesterton Police Station. Police spotted the woman driving and pulled her over in a gas station parking lot on Indian Boundary Road.
When questioned, the woman allegedly told police she had taken items from the store 10 or more times. The woman offered to reimburse Kmart for the items she had taken.
She was taken to the police station for further questioning and provided police with a written statement. Again she offered to return items she still had in her possession and pay restitution for missing items.
She was issued a trespass warning and released by police.