Framingham woman tries to shoplift during ‘Shop with a Cop’ event, police say
A homeless woman in Framingham attempted to shoplift more than $1,000 in products from a Target store filled with at least 50 police officers participating in their annual “Shop with a Cop” event Tuesday evening, Framingham police said.
As officers waited in line to check out items for the numerous local children they joined on a holiday shopping spree, a charity event sponsored by the department in an effort to give back to the community, an employee notified them the store had caught a shoplifter, Officer Stephen O’Rourke wrote in a police report.
He estimated there were 50 to 75 officers from several towns roaming the store with children and families around 5:45 p.m. when the woman, Melissa E. Allen, 32, attempted to steal over $1,000 worth of merchandise from the store at 400 Cochituate Road.
When officers confronted Allen in the store’s loss prevention office, she immediately became defensive, saying she did not steal and intended to leave the store, O’Rourke said.
Allen had a large bin filled with items she tried to steal, including clothing, accessories, and home goods, O’Rourke said. The items were brought to a cash register and determined to be worth $1,105.40.
She was also caught on video “attempting to leave the store and then being stopped in the vestibule, passing all points of where she could have completed a sale transaction,” O’Rourke said in the report.
After observing the video, he placed her under arrest.
“Melissa was uncooperative and arguing that she wasn’t stealing anything and we can’t prove she stole anything as she ripped her hands from my grasp,” he said.
After officers told her she would be charged with resisting arrest if she continued to struggle, she cooperated long enough for them to put her in handcuffs, but then started to scream and kick the car door when officers attempted to put her in their cruiser.
Allen also repeatedly lied to officers about her name, O’Rourke said. She was originally booked under a fake name, Kelly Bouchay, and was rebooked after officers found her real name using an in-house information system.
She was charged with larceny over $250, resisting arrest, and giving a false name to police officers.
She was arraigned in Framingham District Court on Wednesday.