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Police: Woman called in fake gun threat in order to shoplift

Posted at 2:00 AM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 02:00:43-05

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI (WSAW/CNN) – A Wisconsin woman was arrested after police say she called in a false report about an armed man at a local high school to distract police from a shoplifting complaint.

Autumn Trepish, 21, is being held on a $10,000 cash bond. Police say she was a suspect in a shoplifting case at Walmart Tuesday.

Two suspects were detained by the store's loss prevention team while two more suspects, including Trepish, were waiting in the parking lot.

As police were investigating, they say Trepish called 911 to report an armed man at nearby Lincoln High School.

Thinking there was an active shooter, officers responded, and the school went on lockdown.

There weren’t any students inside at the time because classes had been canceled earlier due to inclement weather, but some staff was present.

A sweep of the building was immediately conducted, and nothing was found.

Lt. Joel Flewellen says the allegations against Trepish are serious.

"We had approximately 15 to 20 officers arrive, and it makes it unsafe for the public a lot of times. It was icy yesterday and the response – we have to get there in a quick way, so we're going lights and siren,” he said.

Superintendent Craig Broeren says anytime there is a school threat it's concerning.

"It certainly did heighten fears, but it's been on my mind, on other school superintendents’ minds and school employees for the last several years as a result of the trends we're seeing in society,” he said.

The Lincoln High School principal made it clear in a letter to parents there was no credible threat but promised increased security.

At no time was Trepish ever at or near Lincoln High School, and none of the shoplifting suspects attend any school in the city.

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