(FOX40.COM) — Chico Police Department arrested a woman under suspicion of shoplifting after she allegedly cited a new law that prohibited against theft arrests, law enforcement reported.
Chico Police Officers said they responded to Target on E. 20th Str., Chico, on Aug. 20 after they received a call from employees that a theft occurred.
According to reports, Target’s loss prevention team said they observed a female, later identified as Maria Ponce-Romero, 50, of Oroville, who loaded a cart with merchandise, pushed it out of the store and loaded it into a vehicle. Ponce-Romero then returned to the store to fill up another cart.
Police say that as Ponce-Romero attempted to leave the store a second time with a cart full of unpaid merchandise, she was contacted by Chico Police Officers. Ponce-Romero was allegedly in possession of around $1,200 worth of merchandise.
When questioned, police said that Ponce-Romero told officers she believed there was nothing officers could do about the theft once she left the store with the merchandise due to a change in shoplifting laws.
Chico Police Department said that is false and Ponce-Romero was subsequently arrested for grand theft and burglary.
Ponce-Romero was also found to be on felony probation out of Butte County and also arrested for violation of probation.