$1,700 in counterfeit bills found, arrest made after alleged theft in Chicopee

MARY LOUISE CATO_1559317377508.jpg.jpg

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Police found $1,700 worth of counterfeit bills and arrested a New York woman following an alleged theft at a store in Chicopee Monday morning. 

Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk told 22News, officers were called to the Home Depot store on 655 Memorial Drive at 11:25 a.m. for a report of a shoplifter. When police got to the store, they were told the suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Mary Louise Cato, had allegedly driven off in a white car. 

Wilk said surveillance video showed Cato filling a light fixture box with other items and then attempting to only pay for the light fixture. When she was asked about the contents of the box, she allegedly grabbed the box and ran from the store.

Officers found the car, unoccupied, on Wells Avenue. Wilk said when officers searched the car they found the box with more than $2,600 worth of items in it, $1,700 in counterfeit bills, gift cards, and cell phones. 

Police also found a hotel key, and reached out to the hotel in question about Cato. Wilk said a short time later the hotel told police that Cato was in the lobby. Cato was arrested after she was positively identified as the woman who stole from the store and then ran, according to Wilk. 

While Cato was being booked at the Chicopee Police Department, Wilk said a $100 bill was on her that matched the serial number of the bills that were found in the car. 

Cato is charged with larceny over $1,200 and possession of counterfeit notes. 

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