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Theft of baby food leads to criminal charges

June 1, 2009

A 37-year-old Milwaukee man who took more than a dozen cans of baby formula from Pick 'n Save, intending to resell the products, was charged with retail theft Thursday.

Prentiss Grimes remains in custody and has been prohibited from entering Pick 'n Save stores.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Grimes concealed 12 cans of baby formula, valued at $169, in his heavy winter coat and started to walk out the door. Security guards approached him, and, as he began to run, cans starting falling. They recognized him from a surveillance video that showed a man taking six cans of formula the day prior.

He told police he expected a citation, but officers said that with 12 arrests for retail theft since March 2008 on his record, they would be taking him to the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Facility. A background check showed Grimes previously had been arrested in West Allis, St. Francis, Hales Corners, Wauwatosa and Shorewood, and he had outstanding warrants in the latter two cities.

Grimes said he sells the cans to pay for his cell phone plan and the cell phones of his four children, since he has not been working.

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