A Madison County woman has been charged in connection with the theft of nearly $650 worth of baby formula.
Cheryl A. Ballinger, 56, of 272 Bostwick in Alton, was allegedly caught Monday by security at the Godfrey Walmart trying to take several cans of formula worth $259. Store security also alleged that she was caught on surveillance cameras stealing multiple cans of formula Feb. 13 and 19. Investigators believe she got $382 on the earlier two dates.
Ballinger was charged with felony burglary by the Madison County State's Attorney's office and her bail was set at $60,000.
Investigators did not say what they believe Ballinger was planning to do with so much formula. But baby formula is an expensive item that is easy to sell on the streets. It is also used by drug makers and dealers to "cut" cocaine and methamphetamine, a process similar to adding water to liquor to make their supply go farther.
Many stores now keep baby formula locked up to prevent it from being stolen.