MEHLVILLE (KMOX) - A woman was caught cooking meth in her purse using a 20-ounce soda bottle inside of the Walmart store on Telegraph Road at I-255.
The store was immediately evacuated, out of fear for customers’ safety.
St. Louis County Police Lt. Mark Cox said if the meth concoction had spilled or leaked, it would have quickly circulated through the store’s ventilation system, contaminating the building and sickening lots of people.
“The sergeant on the scene that helped to dismantle it said that it was cooking when they showed up, and had the potential to become flammable or blow up at any time,” he said.
Security initially pulled the woman and another man aside for shoplifting. Those items were not meth-making ingredients, although Lt. Cox said that investigators wearing gas masks did find pills and chemicals inside a car in the parking lot.
He said use of these shake-and-bake kits is on the rise.
“It’s kind of scary,” one woman said as she stood behind the yellow police tape, waiting for the all-clear to return to her car. “I’m just kind of astonished that somebody would come up here with a meth lab in their purse. And be dumb enough to shoplift on top of it.”