An Arizona woman has been accused of switching baby formula for flour in a “patterned series of crimes” across a number of supermarkets in her local area.
Tucson Police arrested Jennifer LaPlante, 30, last Thursday after learning she had been purchasing formula, removing it from its containers and replacing it with “flour and other various contents” before resealing the containers and returning them to claim a refund, they said.
“We’re concerned about this and wanted to get the information out as quickly as possible to avoid any other children from becoming sick,” Police Chief Chris Magnus told reporters in an unusual late-night press conference after LaPlante was caught.
One child was been made sick by the dodgy formula but was released from hospital and “did not have life-threatening injuries”, according to a Facebook post from the Police department.
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Police said LaPlante was motivated by money and bought or stole the formula over a number of days and possibly months.
Detectives were still “smack-dab in the middle of the investigation,” Dugan said when he spoke to the media last week.
“They need to find out if there’s others involved. They need to find out if there’s other stores involved.”
The Department’s Facebook post listed a number of stores they believed may have been affected, including Fry’s and Walmart and warned parents to be on the look out for containers that may have been tampered with.
A spokesperson from Walmart told ABC News the company was “deeply disturbed” by the incident.
“Our customers deserve safe, quality foods, and we have policies in place to help ensure that returned baby formula is not put back on our shelves,” the spokesperson told the American news outlet.
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