Colorado statehouse candidate accused of shoplifting

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Tammy Theis (WesternSlopeWatchdog.com)

Tammy Theis (WesternSlopeWatchdog.com)

Tammy Theis (WesternSlopeWatchdog.com)

Tammy Theis (WesternSlopeWatchdog.com)

MONTROSE, Colo. — A Colorado House candidate in Montrose was accused of shoplifting the day she officially announced she would be running. She has now admitted to taking items from a grocery store.

Democrat Tammy Theis told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Thursday that she made a mistake when she took several items from a Montrose City Market without paying for them. She said she put them in an empty box under her cart and forget about them when she went through the checkout line.

“It was at a grocery store that I’ve shopped at since I’ve lived in Montrose, and that’s since 1977,” Theis told the newspaper. “It was an honest mistake. When I went out of the store, security followed me and they were right to do so. It’s my fault.”

The 54-year-old Theis, who is a candidate for House District 58, said she was distracted at the time of the incident by the fact that she was helping her father move into an assisted living center. She said the box in her shopping cart was going to be used in the move.

Theis was issued a summons on suspicion of theft of less than $500. The maximum penalty for the class 2 misdemeanor is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, though that penalty is not likely to be sought in this case.

This isn’t the first run-in the politician has had with the law. A day after Thanksgiving in 2011, she was charged with driving under the influence and having an open container in her vehicle. Police said an officer stopped Theis when she was seen weaving through traffic.

Theis offered an explanation for that citation as well, saying she had recently undergone surgery and was on painkillers at the time — painkillers she had mixed with beer before she got into her vehicle.

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