Don Bauder 2:46 p.m., Dec. 27
Escondido woman arrested again
Accused of frequenting Walmarts with a huge black handbag
June Reiko Cooper, 40, is back in custody, accused of more thefts in San Diego County.
Her theft convictions listed in court records date back to early 2000, when she would have been 27 years old. There are eight separate convictions alleged, the last one in year 2011.
Those eight criminal cases do not include three new, felony cases that June Reiko Cooper has acquired this year, in 2012.
Prosecutor Jerry Gonzales now accuses June Reiko Cooper of stealing merchandise at different Walmart stores in San Diego County – twice while she was out on bail after being arrested for the same.
Different “loss prevention specialists” testified today that they observed June Reiko Cooper put bottles of alcoholic beverages and baby formula and women’s underwear into “her big, black purse” on three different occasions. Each time, on September 25, and October 24, and October 28, Cooper was seen leaving that particular Walmart store without paying for the items “concealed” in her huge handbag, the witnesses said.
Escondido police officer Lew Shaver said he went to 500 Grape Avenue on a “disturbance call” earlier this month, and he came upon June Reiko Cooper in front of the apartments there. The officer said he could “smell chemicals” from a large, black leather bag so a narcotics-sniffing canine was brought forward. After the dog “alerted” on her handbag, the officer looked inside and found a designer-eyeglass-case which contained hypodermic needles and heroin and marijuana, he said. The officer also found “female clothing and underwear and shoes” in the bag, he said.
June Reiko Cooper, 40, was taken into custody on November 7 and pleads not guilty to 8 new felonies and two misdemeanors. She is currently held in lieu of $250,000 bail. She is next due in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse on January 3, 2013.