A woman played a “twisted prank” at a Pennsylvania grocery store Wednesday by purposely coughing on about $35,000 worth of food, which had to be thrown out, the supermarket said.
“Today was a very challenging day,” Joe Fasula wrote on the Facebook page of the Gerrity’s supermarket chain, which he co-owns.
At 2:20 PM today, I got a call from our Hanover Township store. The manager informed me that a woman, who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community, came into the store and proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case, and grocery.
While there is little doubt this woman was doing it as a￼ very twisted prank, we will not take any chances with the health and well-being of our customers. We ￼had no choice but to throw out all of the products she came in contact with. Working closely with the Hanover Township health inspector, we identified every area that she was in, we disposed of the product and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected everything.
Although we have not yet quantified the total loss, we estimate the value to be well over $35,000.
Margaret Cirko has been arrested and charged with felony counts of terrorist threats, threats to use a “biological agent” and criminal mischief. She was also hit with misdemeanor counts of criminal attempt to commit retail theft and disorderly conduct.
Police say the woman, entered the store and made verbal threats she was sick while intentionally coughing and spitting on merchandise. She then attempted to steal a 12-pack of beer from the store before being ordered to leave by employees.