SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -- Deputies said they arrested a repeat shoplifter who attempted to pay for soap while hiding stolen clothing in her purse Saturday at a local Walmart.
Store security recognized 32-year-old Paula L. Riojas from a previous theft incident, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Security officers watched Riojas remove the hangers from several items of clothing and try to conceal them in her purse. Riojas then paid for a bottle of soap at the check-out and left the store with the stolen clothing, investigators said.
Authorities said store security officers contacted the shoplifter outside the store and identified themselves. Riojas refused to return to the store office and threatened to assault security officers when they grabbed her purse to reclaim the stolen merchandise, according to officials. Deputies said she kicked a security officer in the groin area and attempted to punch her in the face before turning and walking toward her vehicle.
Store security officers ended their pursuit and called 911 after Riojas threatened to get a gun and shoot them, investigators said. The officers provided a description of Riojas’ vehicle to dispatchers.
Deputies later stopped Riojas near the intersection of N. Moore Road and Alki Avenue. Officials said she was taken into custody without incident.
Riojas was booked into the Spokane County Jail for 2nd Degree Robbery and Harassment, as well as a misdemeanor warrant. Riojas also received a citation for driving with a suspended license.