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Dipping sauce theft leads police to big shoplifting bust

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A woman from Moore was recently arrested for the theft of a 50- cent packet of dipping sauce.

The saucy caper actually may have revealed a major thieving operation at Walmart stores around the metro.

Oklahoma City police arrested 36-year-old Heather Upton last week for stealing a packet of dressing from the deli area of the Walmart Superstore, located near Reno and MacArthur.

Walmart security called police when they say Upton swiped the sauce,  zipped past the cashiers and walked out.

Walmart detained Upton and the man she was shopping with, David Jennings.

After a quick check, police learned Upton and Jennings were caught together on surveillance cameras loading up high-dollar items like clothing and electronics, bagging the items as if they were purchased and walking out.

Police say Upton had made a shopping list of things for Jennings to steal, along with the price of each item.

"These two put a lot of planning and thought into this," said Oklahoma City Police MSgt. Gary Knight.

Police say Upton had been previously banned from Walmart because of other incidents involving items that were more expensive than that dipping sauce.

"It's a very low dollar item, about 50 cents," Knight said. "But it's certainly something that tied her into this conspiracy to steal from Walmart that these two had going."

According to court records, Upton and Jennings have shoplifting convictions in three counties.

Police say the couple had specialty magnets with them, typically used by thieves to disable security devices on big-ticket items.

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