Woman allegedly steals $1,200 in goods, tells Northern California police they can’t arrest her. Officers arrest her anyway.

CHICO — The Chico Police Department arrested a 50-year-old Oroville resident Monday with what officers say was about $1,200 of merchandise even though she allegedly told officers she couldn’t be arrested because of a new shoplifting law.

According to a press release issued Monday by the department, reports from Target’s loss prevention team claimed the suspect was seen stealing a cart full of items and loading them into her vehicle. Allegedly, she returned to fill up a second cart afterward but was stopped by police.

Maria Ponce-Romero was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and burglary. The release said Ponce-Romero was on felony probation and is facing probation violation charges.

The release said that in total, roughly $1,200 in merchandise had been stolen, which could make a felony offense.

When confronted, Ponce-Romero allegedly told officers that she couldn’t be arrested once the items were out of the store because a new shoplifting law prevented her arrest, but the release said that was untrue and she was arrested.

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