Suspect in Grass Valley baby formula thefts ID’d |

Suspect in Grass Valley baby formula thefts ID’d

A suspect in the theft of baby formula from a Grass Valley grocery store is seen in this still from a surveillance video.
Photo courtesy Grass Valley Police

It didn’t take long for social media to come through for local law enforcement looking to identify a suspect.

The Grass Valley Police Department posted the request on its Facebook page early Thursday evening, regarding a woman who had tried to steal nearly $500 worth of baby formula. By mid-morning Friday — thanks to a Sacramento television station picking up the story — multiple sources had provided a name for the formula thief.

The woman was believed to have hit the same grocery store three or four times over at least a few weeks, getting away with stacks of baby formula, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Brian Blakemore. He said the estimated loss to the store was more than $1,000.

Thursday afternoon, store employees were ready for her, recognizing the suspect from prior incidents, Blakemore said.

“They were watching her and she noticed,” he said. “She put down her hand basket and fled.”

Blakemore said the basket contained more than $475 in baby formula and added that it is typical for thieves to target such high-value, easily portable items from retail locations.

After pulling surveillance video, Grass Valley Police posted stills onto its Facebook page.

“We got a number of leads,” Blakemore said of the suspect.

The woman, Blakemore said, was identified by other law enforcement entities as well, as having been arrested in similar thefts.

As of Friday evening, Grass Valley Police detectives had not succeeded in contacting the suspect, Blakemore said.

“We will continue to follow up and look at cases in surrounding counties,” he said. “We greatly appreciate the public’s help and the help of allied agencies.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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