A Washburn County woman is free on $1,500 signature bond pending a preliminary hearing Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in connection with multiple felony and misdemeanor charges filed in Barron County Circuit Court.
A criminal complaint filed Oct. 14 identifies the defendant as 36-year-old Christine M. Tondee, of Sarona.
She was taken into custody Oct. 12, four days after an alleged shoplifting incident at the Rice Lake Menards store.
A loss prevention worker alleged the defendant took merchandise out of their original packages, went through the checkout line without having the items scanned separately, and refused to stop when store workers followed her to the entrance.
The suspect was last seen driving a Toyota Highlander with Georgia license plates, but the number was unreadable because the plate was bent. The loss prevention worker shot a photo of the suspect vehicle as it left.
Four days later, on Oct. 12, a Rice Lake officer spotted what he thought was the suspect vehicle and stopped it in the parking lot of a private business. The driver was later identified as the defendant. Officers noted the vehicle had a sticker on it that matched the photo taken by the loss prevention worker.
Officers then told the driver she would be arrested but she locked the door to the vehicle and rolled up the window, allegedly injuring one of the officers who had his arm inside the window at the time. Officers warned the defendant that they would break the window, at which point the defendant opened the door and was arrested.
In a search incident to arrest, officers found nearly three and one-half grams of marijuana in a pocket of the driver’s side door. Nearby, officers allegedly found a wallet containing a syringe, cotton swab, spoon, and a plastic bag containing a residue that later tested positive for methamphetamine.
The defendant later failed a field sobriety test, and was taken to Marshfield Medical Center for a blood test.
The complaint charges the defendant with drunk driving, first offense, possession of methamphetamine, obstructing an officer, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. If convicted, she could face up to nearly five years behind bars and/or fines of up to $21,800.