Woman accused of stealing baby formula to support drug addiction
NEW BERLIN (WITI) — 29-year-old Sarah Laporta of West Allis and 28-year-old Bianca Barker of Brown Deer are facing charges in connection with the alleged theft of baby formula.
Barker faces one count of misdemeanor theft, and Laporta faces three.
The retail theft reportedly occurred at the Target store on S. Moorland Road in New Berlin.
According to the criminal complaint, officials spoke with a loss prevention employee there, who said her inventory was 18 cans short of Good Start baby formula. That employee told officials she had observed surveillance video that showed two females loading the 18 cans of formula into a reusable shopping bag and exiting the store without paying.
The total loss was $287.82.
In June, officials developed Laporta and Barker as suspects in the case, after comparing booking photos with the surveillance tape.
The criminal complaint indicates officials spoke with Barker, who told them she did not steal any baby formula, and said she “did not know what Laporta was doing” that day. Barker told officials she did not steal anything, and did not carry it out of the store, so she could not be charged with anything, according to the complaint.
When officials spoke with Laporta, she admitted she had been a heroin addict for the last four years, and is unemployed, according to the complaint. Laporta told officials she had been using approximately $100 worth of heroin a day, and admitted she needed to steal to support her heroin addiction, according to the complaint.
The complaint says Laporta admitted to stealing the formula, along with Barker.
The complaint indicates officials discovered two additional theft incidents, one at the same Target store, and at a Pick ‘n Save store on W. National.