By Jacob Mathias
After a failed attempt to steal over $500 in electronic products from Walmart, a Stevens Point woman faces more than 10 years behind bars.
Mercie Grochowski, 41, is charged with felonious theft after a store employee observed her place several electronic items inside her large purse. The items were not listed in the criminal complaint but were valued at over $601.77.
According to the complaint, police were summoned to Walmart in Plover at about 6 PM on June for a report of retail theft. Grochowski was being detained in the store’s loss prevention office.
Grochowski was seen by a loss prevention officer in the store’s electronics department, carrying multiple Goodwill bags and a large, empty purse in her shopping cart, as well as various electronic products. The officer became suspicious and followed Grochowski through multiple departments, witnessing her putting merchandise in her purse and Goodwill bags.
According to the complaint, Grochowski then proceeded to the checkout lane where she paid for cat food and shampoo, but nothing else she had taken. When she exited the store, the loss prevention employee followed her and approached her.
Grochowski admitted to taking the items, and police described her as cooperative.
During an interview with police, Grochowski appeared lethargic and sluggish, according to the complaint. Police also found a bottle of prescription bottle of pills, later determined to be alprazolam, a controlled narcotic used for anxiety, with someone else’s name on it.
Grochowski told police the bottle itself belonged to her son but the pills inside were indeed her’s, though she could not prove she had a prescription.
Grochowski was released on a $200 cash bond.
For felony retail theft valued at more than $500, Grochowski faces as much as a $10,000 fine, three years and six months imprisonment or both if convicted. As a repeat offender with a felony theft conviction in Milwaukee Co. 2013, an additional four years imprisonment can be added onto the punishment.
For the misdemeanor charge of bail-jumping, Grochowski could also face up to four years behind bars.
Grochowski makes her initial appearance in Portage County Circuit Court on July 5 at 1:30 PM.