Chesterfield police apprehend baby formula thief

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. - A woman caught on surveillance stealing nearly $300 worth of baby formula is in jail.

Chesterfield police turned to social media to ask for help identifying the woman. Police posted a surveillance photo of the suspect on its Facebook page with a brief description of why they needed the public's help.

Less than 24 hours later, police were able to make an arrest after following several tips called in from the public.

"We definitely know it's her," said Sergeant Keith Rider, Chesterfield Police Department. "In her mug shot photo, she's wearing the exact same things she's wearing when she stole the things (Wednesday)."

Malinda Berberich, 36, was arrested and faces a stealing in the 4th offense felony charge.

Police said Berberich stole at least 17 containers of baby formula from the Chesterfield Schnucks on Hilltown Village Center.

"She had them stuffed in a giant bag. Schnucks tried to stop her and she dropped some of the cans and ran from the scene before police could get there," Rider said.

Affter the arrest, police updated the Facebook post saying: "Our investigation revealed that this was not a down on her luck mother who needed the formula for her children."

As it turns out, Berberich has a long history of arrests for stealing, mostly in St. Louis City and St. Louis County.

More recently, in April 2017, court documents show Berberich was arrested and charged in St. Louis for stealing up to $150 worth of merchandise from a Walgreens and also from a Shop N' Save.

Chesterfield police said they have not recovered the formula they accuse her of stealing from Schnucks, saying she sold it to buy drugs.

"This person is extremely drug addicted and people do whatever they can to get the money to get the drugs," Rider said.​