A Washburn County woman could face more than four years behind bars in connection with a felony retail theft charge filed Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Barron County Circuit Court.
The complaint identifies the defendant as 49-year-old Tia L. Christiansen, W7526 Luther Road, Spooner.
The complaint said Rice Lake police were summoned by the local Walmart store on the afternoon of Sept. 10, on a report of an alleged retail theft. The store provided a description of the suspect and the make and model of the car she was driving.
An officer found the car and defendant at a nearby gas station. The defendant said she paid $600 cash at the store’s electronic checkout but had thrown her receipt away.
She allegedly agreed to let the officer search the vehicle, where he found “a large quantity ... of merchandise.” A later tally at Walmart showed there were 156 items in the vehicle with an estimated retail price of $1,669.41.
While he searched the car, the officer said it also had a marijuana odor. A second officer arrived. The defendant allegedly told him she’d just lost her job and confessed to taking the merchandise.
Pieces of a substance later identified as marijuana were found in the car’s cup holder, the complaint said.