Duson Police allow theft suspect to pay for, then donate stolen baby formula to local women’s shelter

Louisiana

DUSON, La. (KLFY) — A man accused of stealing baby formula from a Duson grocery store got a little bit of a lucky break when captured by police.

It happened over the weekend at Champagne’s grocery store.

Police say they were notified by staff around 8:30 a.m. Saturday that a male suspect had stolen 10 cans of baby formula by slipping them in his pants, then walking out without paying.

Video camera’s identified Joseph Chambers as the suspect, Police Chief Kip Judice said.

He said later in the day, police observed Chambers driving along Interstate 10 and attempted to pull over his vehicle.

A chase began and with help from other local police agencies, Chambers was stopped in Breaux Bridge.

During a search of the vehicle, Judice said, police recovered a total of 126 cans of assorted baby formula.

He said the suspect had admitted to stealing the formula from stores throughout Louisiana.

Because the crime is considered a misdemeanor, Judice said, Chambers was allowed to pay for the 10 cans he allegedly stole in Duson, then donate them to the Faith House Women’s Shelter of which he obliged, Judice said.

He said the total cost for 10 cans was $186.

The remaining 116 cans, Judice said, will remain in the Duson Police Department Evidence Room awaiting proof of ownership from stores who can confirm that it is their product.

“If no one comes forward in the next few days, Judice said, they will donate the cans to locate charities.”

Chambers was issued a summons to appear in a Duson Magistrate Court in June.

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