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‘Feeding her drug habit:’ Former lunch lady accused of stealing from WAWM School District, Pick ‘n Save

WEST ALLIS — A woman is facing charges, accused of stealing items from the West Milwaukee-West Allis School District and from a Pick ‘n Save store on separate occasions. Prosecutors say she was out on bond at the time. Additionally, officials say she’s a former West Allis school lunch lady.

Melissa Stevenson

Melissa Stevenson, 33, faces charges in separate cases filed on Jan. 26:

  • Theft of movable property
  • Misdemeanor bail jumping (two counts)
  • Retail theft — intentionally taking less than $500
  • Misdemeanor bail jumping (two counts)

In the theft case, Stevenson stands accused of taking property from the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District between Jan. 10 and Jan. 11.

According to a criminal complaint, the facilities and operations manager reviewed surveillance video which showed a woman entering the building. She was later seen on the 6th floor carrying a garbage can which appeared to contain several stolen items. Identification stickers for the items were found in the bathroom. The woman was seen leaving the bathroom with a handbag and white plastic bag filled with items, which included a camera valued at $590, a laptop valued at $550, computer speakers valued at $11.43 and cables valued at $8.

Police posted still images from the surveillance video online and received tips indicating the woman was Melissa Stevenson. Police found photos of Stevenson and compared them with the woman seen in the video. Police soon learned from Cudahy police that Stevenson had been arrested, and she was wearing a black coat, black boots and had the same handbag seen in the surveillance video.

According to a search warrant, when West Allis police interviewed her, they say she, “admitted she was a thief” and did it for several reasons including, “feeding her drug habit.”

A second complaint accuses Stevenson of retail theft at the Pick ‘n Save store on S. Packard Ave. in Cudahy on Jan. 11.

According to the complaint, store officials were alerted that a woman had arrived at the store who had been suspected of stealing in the past. She was captured by surveillance cameras selecting some Packers clothing items and entering the liquor department. There, the complaint says she took two bottles of liquor and concealed all of the items in her purse, before walking towards the exit. Store officials confronted her and they got the clothing items back, but she walked away before the alcohol could be recovered.

When she was arrested, a bottle of Ketel One vodka was located in her purse. Her fingerprints identified her as Melissa Stevenson.

The complaints note that Stevenson was convicted of possession of cocaine, and retail theft, possession of cocaine and misdemeanor bail jumping in separate cases in 2017, and bail/bond conditions were in effect at the time of this incident.

Court records show since November, Stevenson has been charged with possession of cocaine, retail theft and resisting an officer. According to a criminal complaint, she had stolen from an employee at an Elm Grove Ace Hardware — along with other merchandise. That same day, she may have taken items from the Walgreens store across the street. She was picked up by police, who found marijuana on her. And in December, at a West Allis Pick N’ Save, police say they found cocaine in her pocket.