Extreme couponer considered in newspaper thefts

Newspaper thief

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – Police in Farmington are looking for a woman who’s been caught on camera several times stealing stacks of newspapers. No one knows her motive, but some are speculating if she’s after the Sunday coupons.

It’s certainly not the most violent crime Farmington has ever seen by any means, but police are serious about putting a stop to the theft. The woman, caught on surveillance video, drives up in a Ford Ranger once the local Valero gas station closes, and leaves with not one newspaper, but stacks and stacks of the Farmington Daily Times. It appears she’s only after the Sunday edition.

Georgette Allen, with the Farmington Police Department, said, “We have approximately 27 newspapers that were taken, and they’re $2 a paper. So roughly $54.” Allen said the crime is a misdemeanor.

Whether the woman just really loves the news of San Juan County, has to line a bunch of bird cages, or is one of those extreme couponers, police aren’t exactly sure. But they are treating the headline heist like any other theft.

“It is a big deal. This individual is stealing from a business, so somebody is paying for that, so it’s still a crime,” Allen said.

On Facebook, folks in Farmington are talking, wondering if she is indeed after all of those coupons.

“She was probably after all the coupon inserts,” one woman wrote.

Another resident posted, “Wow, this just made my day. Makes me feel like we live in Mayberry.”

Julie Gambell, circulation manager for the Farmington Daily Times said, “This is our business.” For the newspaper, it’s all a matter of math because unsold papers and those coupon inserts must be accounted for.

“We have to be accountable for all the returns that come back for the main purpose of our audit, we have to make sure that all unsold papers are back and all unsold coupons in those papers need to come back to our place of business,” Gambell said. “We don’t usually have a problem with just stealing the coupons,” she added.

As for speculation the woman didn’t realize she was doing wrong and committing a crime, Gambell said, “In my opinion, if it wasn’t a crime, then we are you doing it in the middle of the night and not buying a paper?”

Police in Farmington are urging the newspaper thief to turn herself in.

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