A woman in California has been arrested for licking groceries and other items worth $1,800 at a supermarket amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, AFP reported.

Chris Fiore, spokesperson for the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, near the border with Nevada, said that officers were called to the Safeway store on Tuesday after reports emerged of “a customer licking groceries”. “When officers arrived on the scene, a Safeway employee informed them that the suspect put numerous pieces of jewellery from the store on her hands,” he added. “The suspect licked the jewellery then began to load her cart with merchandise from the store.”

The woman, identified as 53-year-old Jennifer Walker, was arrested for felony vandalism and the merchandise had to be destroyed for fear of contamination.

An investigation revealed that Walker had no means to purchase any of the items in her cart.
“Walker was subsequently arrested for felony vandalism and was booked in the El Dorado County jail without further incident,” a press release said.

The United States reported the highest toll in a single day on Tuesday, with 1,973 fatalities, including 779 in New York state alone. By Wednesday evening, the US had 4,31,838 cases of Covid-19, by far the highest anywhere in the world, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.