The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Wal-Mart seeks felony indictment against worker who stole a few cookies

Mugshot of cookie thief

Cookie bandit: Aliases include the Ham Burglar

It’s a familiar story at least on a metaphorical level. An employee dips his hand into the “cookie jar” and ends up facing felony charges. But in the case of a 63-year-old Wal-Mart worker in Indiana, the cookie jar really was a cookie jar — a bag of cookies, to be exact. Yet the store is demanding its pound of flesh.

The Smoking Gun reports that Penny Winters was arrested on Sunday for allegedly stealing a bag of Oreos from the Indiana store where she was employed as a maintenance worker. And the company isn’t taking the crime lightly. They fired Winters from her $11.40-per-hour position and are now pursuing felony charges against her.

The company initiated its own internal investigation this past week after an “asset protection manager” discovered an empty cookie wrapper on the premises. An examination of surveillance video showed “Winters select the package of cookies, open it, and proceed to consume multiple cookies during her work shift,” according to a Portage Police Department report. The dollar amount of the stolen merchandise has not been determined.

Initially when asked about the telltale crumbs around her mouth, Winters insisted that she found an already-opened package of the cookies near a cash register and assumed that the management had provided them. But under more intense scrutiny, she wilted. She admitted to having helped herself to the cookies and other snacks during her seven-month tenure. She further claimed that she “simply did not have the monies to legitimately purchase the food items.”

Winters has been charged with felony theft. She was released from the Porter County jail after posting bond.

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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  • Randy Dowdy

    The felony charge isn’t for the Oreos, it is for a lot of food stolen during her entire employment time. Still overboard, IMO. Judge won’t give her hard time, I hope. Something needs to be done, but what?