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Monroe police arrested a Monroe woman last week on suspicion of organized retail theft after authorities received a call about a shoplifter at Home Hardware on North 18th Street.

Officers were dispatched to Home Hardware where an employee told them that Jennifer Nichols, 45, of 2521 12th St., Monroe, had cut down a security cord that held power drills valued at some $300 and put them under her arm before trying to leave the store.

Officers viewed video footage of the incident and made contact with Nichols who was still inside the store. Before being questioned, she told officers she “had a reason for doing what she did,” according to the July 21 arrest report.

During questioning, Nichols admitted to cutting the security cord with wire cutters and taking the power drills. She said she sold the drills to a third party for about $50.

“Nichols stated that she did not want to do it but that times were hard right now,” stated the arrest report.

Officers went to Nichols’ vehicle in the parking lot to tell her 15-year-old son about the incident. Authorities smelled marijuana emitting from Nichols’ car, according to the arrest report.

Officers searched the suspect’s vehicle and found a marijuana pipe with marijuana residue on it. They also found an opened Coors Light can and an opened Coors Light bottle sitting in the console with alcohol still in them.

Nichols said she drank the beer before she went inside the store so she could “do what she was about to do,” according to the arrest report.

Officers asked Nichols whether her son smoked marijuana and she said she was a single mother and could not always control what her son does.

Nichols was booked at Ouachita Correctional Center on the above charge as well as possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of alcoholic beverages in a vehicle and encouraging or contributing to child delinquency.

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