Arizona woman arrested for stealing, tampering with and returning baby formula

One child was hospitalized as a result of incident
Posted at 10:29 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 18:09:07-04

A woman in Tucson, Arizona has been arrested on suspicion that she tampered with baby formula in stores throughout the city, resulting in the hospitalization of at least one child.

Police arrested 30-year-old Jennifer LaPlante. She was booked into Pima County Jail and made her initial appearance Friday. Her bond was set at $50,000.

They learned LaPlante has been engaging in a pattern of stealing infant formula, refilling the container with other substances, resealing the containers and returning it to the store. 

The affected formula was sold at Fry's Pharmacy and Walmart locations throughout town.

Police say the product impacted is Gerber GoodStart soy but can not rule out that any other product has been affected. 


From TPD: 30-year-old woman arrested for allegedly replacing infant formula w/flour, other substances. A number of stores in Tucson @kgun9

— Whitney Clark (@whitneyclarktv) May 12, 2017


.@Tucson_Police say Jennifer Laplante allegedly stole infant formula from several businesses & retuned it after tampering w/ formula @kgun9

— Priscilla KGUN9 (@PriscillaCasper) May 12, 2017


Flour may have been one of the ingredients put in the product.

One child has been sickened as a result. That child has been released from the hospital and is in good condition.


.@ChiefCMagnus advises parents to examine their baby formula and make sure it doesn't smell weird @kgun9

— Priscilla KGUN9 (@PriscillaCasper) May 12, 2017

According Pam Giamatti, a spokeswoman for Fry's Pharmacy, all returned baby food is marked with a sticker labeling it not for resale. The labeling is a guideline, not a policy, and Giamatti could not confirm that returned baby formula was not resold in this instance.

Walmart spokesman Khim Aday released this statement: 

“Like everyone else, we are deeply disturbed by this situation and take it very seriously. Our customers deserve safe, quality foods, and we have policies in place to help ensure that returned baby food is not put back on our shelves. We are working with local law enforcement, and because this is an ongoing investigation, we must refer all other questions to them.”

Aday would not say whether Walmart would refund possibly contaminated formula.