An Owatonna woman is facing drug possession and theft charges in Waseca County after allegedly attempting to steal products from a Waseca business.

Nicole Georgina Weller, 27, was formally charged on Tuesday with two felony counts of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance. She is also facing a gross misdemeanor drug possession charge and a misdemeanor theft charge in relation to an incident that occurred in November.

According to the criminal complaint, on Nov. 17 the Waseca Police Department was dispatched to a local business for a report of a theft in progress. Dispatch advised that a male suspect ran from the store after staff confronted him when he attempted to leave without paying for items. The male suspect dropped the items outside the store when he ran off, according to the report.

When officers arrived to the scene, several employees were following a female suspect who was leaving the store and eventually got into the passenger side of a vehicle that took off. Employees told officers the female was the theft suspect and they initiated a stop two blocks from the store. The suspect was then identified as Weller.

According to court documents, surveillance video showed Weller and the male suspect entering the store and begin taking items from shelves. The video footage shows Weller holding a pink coat that covers a black backpack while maneuvering through the store. Staff told officers they saw Weller put items in the backpack and then leave the store without paying for the items after the male suspect ran off.

The total value of items stolen was $476.24. Weller also was holding $125.54 worth of products that did not make it outside the store, according to the report.

After obtaining a search warrant for the vehicle Weller was apprehended in, officers located a small mirror with a white powdery residue on it that later field tested positive for methamphetamine. The mirror was located where Weller was sitting. Officers also found one schedule IV controlled substance pill and five schedule II controlled substance pills inside the purse Weller was allegedly carrying.

The male suspect was not identified in the criminal complaint.

Weller’s first court appearance in this case is scheduled for March 2.

Earlier this month, Weller was charged in Steele County court with one felony count of theft. According to the criminal complaint, Weller was observed shoplifting from an Owatonna business on Jan. 4. When an Owatonna officer arrived at the scene, a search of Weller’s person recovered jewelry in her sweatshirt and pants pockets and two perfume bottles in her bra. The total amount that was attempted to be stolen was $1,407.96, according to court documents.

Weller’s initial appearance in court for this case is scheduled for March 15.

Reach Reporter Annie Granlund at 507-444-2378 or follow her on Twitter @OPPAnnie. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota.

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