Athens shoplift suspect pepper-sprays pursuers

Several officers finally subdue 300-pound woman

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ATHENS, Ga. -- A career shoplifter was arrested Wednesday after she punched and pepper-sprayed employees at a supermarket when they caught her trying to steal groceries, Athens-Clarke police said.

A customer alerted a store employee that she saw 26-year-old Lonneshia Shafaye Appling concealing items in a canvas bag in her shopping cart at Piggly Wiggly on Lexington Road, police said.

When employees tried to stop Appling from leaving the store, she punched one of them in the face and pepper-sprayed the other before running out the back of the store, according to police.

An officer who happened to be in the area was quickly on the scene, and he choked upon entering the store because there air was so heavy with pepper spray, according to police. There was so much residual pepper spray that firefighters later had to ventilate the store with fans.

When the officer heard a woman screaming outside the rear of the store, he found Appling yelling at two employees who had chased her, police said.

Appling, who weighs at least 300 pounds, ignored several commands by the officer to place her hands behind her back so she could be handcuffed, but a backup officer helped to place her into custody, police said.

She was charged with felony theft by shoplifting not because of the value of the items she tried to steal — $88.27 — but because she had more than three previous shoplifting convictions, police said.

In addition to the beer, she tried to steal vegetable oil, five packs of cheese, five packs of bacon and two packs of chicken wings, police said.

In addition to shoplifting, Appling was also charged with aggravated assault, simple battery, disorderly conduct and obstruction of a law enforcement officer, police said.

At the time, she was wanted for a felony probation violation because of a shoplifting arrest in Madison County in January, according to Clarke County Superior Court records.

Authorities in Oconee and Fulton counties also had warrants for her arrest, police said.

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CABoatright
188
Points
CABoatright 05/25/12 - 07:21 am
1
0
26 y/o weighs 300 pounds.
Unpublished

26 y/o weighs 300 pounds. Stealing bacon, cheese & beer????? Duh. How about some Slim Fast, or better yet, A JOB!!!!

storiesihaveread
332
Points
storiesihaveread 05/25/12 - 09:24 am
3
0
At 300 pounds

Does she really need to eat bacon??

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 05/25/12 - 10:05 am
2
0
Really??????

She probably gets foodstamps to boot......she should have been taking some slimfast. She has probably been stealing her whole adult life. she should be held without bond until her trial date because obviously she is going to continue her addiction.

Farmboy
904
Points
Farmboy 05/25/12 - 10:56 am
0
0
Brilliant!

Wow! What a smart woman. She is a real Harvard Chemistry Professor waiting to happen.

kiwiinamerica
924
Points
kiwiinamerica 05/25/12 - 11:21 am
0
0
Lonneshia's Memorial Day Cookout
Unpublished

She didn't try to steal no watermelons? Maybe they're not on sale, yet.

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 05/27/12 - 08:18 am
0
0
Just how big was this lady's

Just how big was this lady's canvas bag????? 5 packs of cheese, bacon, 2 packs of chicken wings, beer and oil ???

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