LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Employees at Burke’s Outlet, at Woodson Mall, called La Follette Police on Sunday afternoon to check on a shopper that appeared to be under the influence.

LPD Officers Melisa Phillips and Shane Tielman found the suspect, 48-year- old Monica Cheleste Chadwell inside the store. Burke’s employees told the officers Chadwell had been tearing merchandise out of boxes and was allegedly trying to steal the merchandise.

Monica Cheleste Chadwell was arrested for the 41st time according to jail records.

Phillips watched Chadwell sway, appearing unsteady on her feet. The officer said Chadwell’s speech was slurred, and she could not stand in one area. After seeing Chadwell wearing a necklace with a zip tie-like material still wrapped on it, appearing to have been torn from a box, Phillips told Chadwell why the officers were at Burke’s.

Phillips said Chadwell told her she was going to purchase the items inside her buggy, but she did not mention anything about the Burke’s merchandise she was wearing. Phillips and Tielman asked Chadwell if the necklace and bracelet she was wearing belonged to Burke’s. Chadwell seemed to hesitate to reply and then said “Yes, she was trying to see if they fit her.”

Burke’s employees told LPD officers that Chadwell had torn the Burke’s bracelet from the box containing the price tag and put it on her wrist and did the same with the necklace.

Chadwell denied taking any narcotics, drugs or prescriptions. During a search, police allegedly found two large bottles labeled as Gabapentin. Chadwell explained one bottle belonged to her friend and the other to her boyfriend.

Chadwell told officers, after being asked, that she did not drive to Burke’s. She said she was at the store with her friend, Kathleen Anne Taggart, according to the report.

Kathleen Anne Taggart was suspected of having meth inside Burke’s Outlet last Sunday.

As officers were talking to Chadwell, 48, and Taggart, 63, both of La Follette, they heard glass break next to Taggart. Based on the report, the glass turned out to be a glass pipe with suspected methamphetamine residue inside of it that Taggart had thrown to the side. Additionally, officers report that Taggart had nail polish belonging to Burke’s concealed in her purse.

Chadwell was charged with larceny/theft offenses-shoplifting, theft of property under $1,000 misdemeanor and public intoxication. Taggart’s charges include larceny/theft offenses-shoplifting, drug narcotic offenses-drug equipment violations, theft of property under $1,000 misdemeanor, warrant service and unlawful drug paraphernalia. Jail records reveal this was Chadwell’s 41st arrest and the 16th arrest for Taggart. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/10/2021-6AM)