Meth Purse in Wal-Mart Leads to Evacuation

A woman in Missouri was arrested at a local Wal-Mart for allegedly having a portable meth lab in her purse when she was caught on surveillance video shoplifting.

The 32-year-old woman, whose name was not released, was arrested at a Wal-Mart in St. Louis County after store security spotted the woman trying to steal several items off the store's shelves.

Security approached the woman and held her in custody until local police arrived. When the police arrived they searched the woman and her purse and that is when they found the potentially harmful device.

During the search of her belongings, police found a bottle contain an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Understanding the potential danger involved, police evacuated the Wal-Mart and conducted a search of the premises for additional narcotics.

The store was reopened a few hours later.

Deputy Chief Dan Furrer with the Mehlville Fire Protection District told local media that the fire department as well as a meth lab unit were on scene and disposed of the "shake and bake" lab without further incident.

Police explained they have seen an increase in the number of portable labs in the region and cautioned that the chemicals used in such an operation are toxic and extremely flammable.

"It had the potential to be flammable or blow up at any time," St. Louis County Police Lt. Mark Cox told the The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

There were no reports of injuries and no harmful fumes or other drug substances found during the search of store.

Police stated that the woman as well as another male was arrested. Both of their names were not immediately released. Police also explained they found other drug-making substances in the suspect's car such as bottles of medicines, pills and chemicals in the Wal-Mart parking lot.