Walmart Worker Penny Winters Charged With a Felony For Allegedly Swiping Oreos

Penny Winters has allegedly been caught stealing oreos from Walmart. Some people find it tempting to be around junk food and can't resist eating it. But in the case of Penny Winters, a 63-year-old maintenance worker, Walmart sees that as a criminal offense. Winters allegedly was caught by the store's surveillance cameras eating Oreos that she hadn't paid for during her evening shifts at a Walmart in Portage, Ind. In response, Walmart Stores Inc. notified police and Winters was charged with felony theft, which could result in jail time for the woman described by Chicago TV station WBBM as the "Oreo Grandma."

According to the report obtained by, Winters confessed to authorities that she had stolen cookies at the store in Portage, a city of 36,000 on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. And she's reportedly conceded that she's been eating -- and not paying for -- Oreos, gum and potato chips for more than eight years while working night shifts for Walmart. (The first seven years were spent at an Arizona location.)

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Why did she do it? According to TheSmokingGun, she told a Walmart investigator that she "simply did not have the monies to legitimately purchase the food items."

As was reported by CBS-affiliate WBBM, Winters has been earning $11.40 an hour at Walmart -- putting her above many of her colleagues at the giant retail chain, which employs about 1.4 million Americans. An incoming sales associate typically earns $8.87 an hour.

Walmart claims that it loses $3 billion a year from theft, most of it committed by employees. When asked by WBBM to comment on the charges against his mother, Winters' son reportedly was stunned." She's never been in trouble a day in her life," John Winters told the station.

After posting bail earlier this week, Penny Winters was released from jail as her case continues.

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David Chartrand

At a father and son grocery store, the son noticed elderly Mrs Whats Her Name walking out with a couple of cans of cat food. The son told his father about the incident as it was happening but the father said and did nothing. After she left the store, the son asked his father why he didn't do anything. The father replied...Mrs Whats Her Name doesn't own any cats. I suppose the moral of the story is the greatness of a country can be seen by how it treats it's underprivileged.

October 06 2013 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Walmart should be ashamed of them selves. She was hungry ,what ever happed to taking care pf our elderly! I am ashamed of walmart. They ruined this poor womans reputation. God bless her. do not believe steeling is right but taking cookies while working . Walmart should learn from this and perhaps asertain weather their employee has food for their lunch break. What good is one if you dont have food. I believe she should have asked if she could have them to eat. But I dont belive she should have been arrested.

March 05 2013 at 9:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dee's comment
Courtney J Burch


October 20 2015 at 8:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
K Satankitty Stearns

I am no fan of Walmart, but what she did was wrong. If you don't have enough money for the cookies, you don't just take them. If someone broke into your house & stole your computer & TV, then said well I didn't have enough money to buy my own, would that be acceptable?

March 01 2013 at 9:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

If she was charged the cost paid by Walmart, the "felony would be a misdemeanor and just because you admit to eating oreos for eight years it could be once a month for eight years or twice a year.. She did wrong but in no way should ANYONE be jailed for stealing FOOD( if that is REALLY what Oreos are)

March 01 2013 at 4:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Stealing is wrong, but I can't blame her. Imagine night after night. Year after year seeing those delicious cookies an arm's reach away. I love the doublestuff, while my girlfriend likes the new Birthday Cake flavor.
The Oreo package used to say "America's Favorite Cookie", but I guess that was hard to prove. Now it says "Milks Favorite Cookie". I know that it's my fave.

February 28 2013 at 8:21 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The crime is she wasn't making enough to support herself. Haven't any of you better-than-thou-people ever had to work with an empty stomach? Guess not.

February 26 2013 at 11:22 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Winters' son reportedly was stunned." She's never been in trouble a day in her life," John Winters told the station.
She was in plenty of trouble, just never CAUGHT!

February 26 2013 at 9:03 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Walmart is making an example out of this employee. I feel that a felony charge is a bit much when you consider the product's value. I could see a misdemeanor and punishment as she did steal and that cannot be overlooked. If I were a judge I would have her wear a double sided sign that says I am a thief, I stole from this store. That in it's self would be punishment enough.

February 25 2013 at 2:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to insanityx2's comment

She did this everyday for 8 years. Probably did it before walmart. She got caught with cookies who knows what else she took. So my question is if she took one item a day for 8 years it's okay. But, if she took all 3 thousand at once would you consider that okay too?

February 26 2013 at 9:48 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to petesehria's comment

Perversely, though, she probably hasn't committed a felony, at least not under Missouri law...... She's committed hundreds(?) of misdemeanor thafts (petty thefts). So in all truth.... she may well be innocent of felony theft, unless they can prove she planned to steal more than X amount of goods required for felony charges.

February 27 2013 at 9:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

It is probably out of Walmart's hands. It is a felony in my state if when shoplifting you came into the store with the intent to steal something which makes it a burglary. The police make the determination based upon her confession that she has been doing it for years therefore THEY charged her with a felony.

February 28 2013 at 12:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

A felony is a bit much but at my part time job I am told, you eat NOTHING before you pay for it. PERIOD.

Its called using your brain

February 24 2013 at 9:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

stealing is stealing no matter how you look at it!

February 24 2013 at 6:05 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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