PORTAGE, Ind. (ABC News.com) -- A Walmart employe in Indiana has been charged with felony theft after she was caught munching Oreos filched from the store’s shelves, police said.
When confronted by cops with video of the alleged theft, Penny S. Winters, 63, admitted she ate the cookies and said she had been doing it for years.
After a box of opened Oreo cookies were discovered at a Walmart in Portage, Ind., and an investigation was conducted, a longtime Walmart employee admitted she not only consumed Oreos she hadn’t paid for, but also took junk food from the company every week for four years. Penny S. Winters, 63, was also caught on video during her evening shift eating the popular sandwich cookies.
In an incident report released to ABC News by police in Portage, Ind., officials state they responded to the Portage Walmart on Feb. 18 in reference to an internal theft investigation. Upon arrival, police spoke with a Walmart manager who said an empty food wrapper was located within the store on Feb. 12, coupled with surveillance video footage, indicated Winters was responsible.
Winters admitted to stealing cookies and other items approximately once or twice a week during her seven month tenure at the Portage store, and at her previous position at a Walmart near her hometown in Tucson, Ariz. She said she regularly snacked on gum, chips, sandwiches and chocolates, according to the police report.
Winters said she knew taking the items without paying was “wrong” and that it “would never happen again.” Walmart agreed and fired her.
As to why she repeatedly stole the items, Winters told police she could not afford them. Winters could not explain to police why she chose to steal “junk food” instead of legitimate food products normally associated with necessity. Winters was employed as a full-time maintenance worker making an hourly wage of $11.40 an hour.
Winters told police she had been a Walmart employee for approximately seven years.
“We have high standards on how we conduct business in our stores and high expectations for all our associates. This includes acting with honesty, integrity and following company policies and guidelines,” Walmart media relations spokeswoman Ashley Hardie told ABCNews.com. “Unfortunately, Ms. Winters failed to meet those expectations. As a result of her violation of company policy she is no longer with the company.”