A Tacoma woman who has repeatedly claimed to have slipped and fallen in grocery stores has been charged with theft and attempted theft after claiming to have fallen in two different stores within about 15 minutes.
Brenda J. Johnson, 50, is scheduled to be arraigned today in Pierce County Superior Court. She has been charged with first-degree theft and first-degree attempted theft.
Johnson said she was near check stand No. 2 at a Tacoma Safeway store on Sept. 18, 2009 at 11:46, buying peaches, when she slipped on some liquid and fell, injuring her wrist and ribs. Neither the cashier nor any other employee could recall any such incident.
On the same day at about noon, Johnson said the same thing happened in the frozen food aisle of a Tacoma Fred Meyer store.
In both cases, she said, she was embarrassed and quickly left. She filed claims with both stores, showing medical care and prescription drug receipts totalling more than $5,500.
A subsequent investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's Special Investigations Unit indicated that she apparently submitted virtually identical medical receipts to each store, including an 8-page emergency room report that was missing some pages.
Medical records obtained through a search warrant indicated that the treatment was unrelated to a fall at either store. The records also showed that there been no expense to Johnson for the care.
The investigation also revealed that Johnson has filed at least five auto-accident medical claims and at least half a dozen slip-and-fall injury claims.