A Medford, Minn., woman has filed a federal lawsuit against an Eagan police officer and an outlet store after she was arrested for allegedly shoplifting an item she bought earlier that day.
In the 20-page lawsuit filed Thursday, Kathryn Krogh, 33, is suing Eagan Police officer Sean Sweeney and Gap Inc. for unlawful arrest and defamation during an October visit to Twin Cities Premium Outlets.
According to the lawsuit:
When Krogh was shopping at the Gap Factory Store, a store worker called 911 to report that Krogh had "concealed a toddler baby item" in her purse.
Krogh alleges she bought the item in question — a hat — at another store earlier that day for her daughter to wear because it was cold. When they entered the Gap store, her daughter gave the hat back to her mom. Krogh then put the hat in her purse.
The loss prevention specialist said she didn't see Krogh take anything from the store's shelves nor did she see if anything was missing in the toddler section. Krogh alleges the loss prevention specialist made "defamatory statements" and "false representation of fact" to the dispatcher and Sweeney.
When confronted by Sweeney, Krogh offered to show receipts for everything she brought at the mall, including the hat and items she purchased at the Gap store.
Sweeney allegedly said he would "not look at any receipts" and that "all thieves are liars." He briefly viewed some security video, but not footage that would "determine whether the item she placed in her purse belonged to the Gap." Sweeney then cited Krogh for stealing two shirts, not the hat.
Krogh is seeking $15,000 in damages from Sweeney and Gap Inc. saying she suffered mental and emotional stress, lost time from work, and out-of-pocket legal expenses. In February, Krogh accepted a deal offered by prosecutors to dismiss the case after six months if she did not commit further crimes and paid $25.
A Star Tribune analysis found that nearly 85 percent of those arrested or charged with shoplifting at Eagan's outlet mall, which opened in 2014, have been people of color. Krogh confirmed Monday that she is a person of color, but declined to comment further. Eagan police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.