VALLEJO (CBS SF) — A woman who allegedly coughed in security guards faces at the height of the coronavirus outbreak to elude arrest on a shoplifting charge at a Vallejo retail store has turned herself in, authorities said.
Vallejo police said Julie Santos, a 40-year-old local resident, turned herself on Tuesday. She is suspected of committing a string of robberies along with Kadeem Reese, a 30-year-old Vallejo resident, who was also in custody.READ MORE: Looming La Niña May Push Western Drought From Bad to Worse
Investigators allege that Santos attempted to shoplift merchandise from a retail store on March 27th. Store employees reported that a female suspect — identified as Santos from surveillance camera photos — entered the store and began concealing store merchandise on her person.
Police said the suspect walked past the store registers with no intention of paying for the items and then exited the store.
Uniformed and plain clothes loss prevention employees tried to contact the suspect outside the store. That’s when the suspect began coughing on the employees, even though she displayed “no prior symptoms,” police said.READ MORE: Update: Fawn Fire Near Redding Grows To 7,500 Acres Overnight; Firefighters Look To Cooler Weather
The employees backed away from the suspect fearing for their own safety during the coronavirus outbreak, which allowed the woman to escape in an awaiting getaway car in the parking lot.
Reese was arrested on April 3, and is alleged to be the primary suspect in a slew of 12 robberies in the city at gas stations and convenience stores throughout March.
During the investigations into those thefts, police became aware of Reese’s association with Santos, though police didn’t specify the extent of their relationship.MORE NEWS: Air Quality Advisory Extended Through Monday Due To Wildfire Smoke
Anyone with additional information on the cases is asked to call Vallejo police Detective Terry Schillinger at (707) 648-4278.