On the night in question, there were 16 officers from the Oxford Police Department, Miami University Police and Oxford Township inside the store assisting with 26 children.
According to an incident report, seen by Cincinnati.com, a store asset protection associate was notified that a woman may have left the store without paying for an item.
Officer Anthony Gilbert then found Fawley, who matched the description of the suspect, in a Dodge caravan located in the Walmart parking lot.
Gilbert asked Fawley if she may have accidentally taken the jacket, worth more than $70, from inside the store without realizing it, a charge she denied.
A second officer then reviewed surveillance footage from inside the store, which allegedly showed Fawley purposefully stealing the jacket. Both Gilbert and the second officer then went back to the parking lot and asked the 35-year-old if she had taken it.
The report states she denied doing so despite officers noticing a similar jacket on the floor of her caravan.
Fawley allegedly then attempted to remove the tags from the jacket while “digging around” for it. She was then arrested and charged with theft.
Police mocked the decision-making of the suspect on social media.
“Our Cops and Kids Walmart shopping event went great and we’ll post our photos for you tomorrow,” the department wrote on Facebook. “But first, look at these attendance numbers: 16 police officers, 26 children, and 1 shoplifter! ‘Wow!’ we say.
“Maybe it’s Opposite Day in her world, since most thieves would steer clear of 16 police cruisers parked out front, but this female thought ‘no, the time is now’ to go into a store filled with cops and steal a coat.
“Fortunately, none of the kids saw or heard about this arrest. We prefer to keep the magic of the holidays intact for them.”
Walmart has been contacted for comment.
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