On Monday, August 28, 2023, Chico Police Officers responded to Target on E. 20th St. after receiving a call from employees that a theft had just occurred.
According to reports, Target’s Loss Prevention observed a female, later identified as Maria Ponce-Romero (50) of Oroville, loading a cart with merchandise, pushing it out of the store, and loading it into a vehicle. Ponce-Romero then returned to the store to fill up another cart.
As Ponce-Romero attempted to leave the store a second time with a cart full of unpaid merchandise, she was contacted by Chico Police Officers. Ponce-Romero was in possession of around $1,200 worth of merchandise. When questioned, Ponce-Romero told officers she believed there was nothing officers could do about the theft once she left the store with the merchandise due to a change in shoplifting laws. That is false, and Ponce-Romero was subsequently arrested for grand theft (487 PC) and burglary (459 PC). Ponce-Romero was also found to be on felony probation out of Butte County and was also arrested for violation of probation.
Location: 1951 E. 20th St.
Suspect: Maria Ponce-Romero (50)
Supervisor: Sgt. D. Bailey
Lieutenant: Lt. M. Rodden