This past week a Walmart store outside St. Louis, Mo. was evacuated after police found a mobile meth lab in a woman's purse. Police had stopped the woman as a suspect in a shoplifting incident.
According to KMOV news, about 6:30 p.m. on Thurs. police were called to a South County Walmart store to investigate a shoplifting incident.
Authorities stopped a female in connection with the complaint, and in the process of investigating the alleged shoplifting, found what is believed to be crystal meth cooking inside of her purse.
The substance was in a 20-ounce plastic bottle.
Upon this discovery, authorities immediately evacuated everyone inside of the Walmart store. Police noted the liquid in the bottle was bubbling, and made the decision to clear customers and employees from the store.
Mobile meth labs are dangerous and have a high incidence of explosion. Police described the evacuation as precautionary.
“It was a volatile situation because the meth lab was actively working but I don’t think anyone was in danger with the way they were able to move everyone out. It was still volatile, but everybody was kept at a safe distance,” Lt. Mark Cox told KMOV.
The evacuation lasted about three hours, reported Fox affiliate KTVI.
Police took the 32-year-old female into custody, along with a male, 37, after meth making and other materials were discovered in the duo's car in the Walmart parking lot.
At this time the two suspects identities have not been released publicly since no charges have been filed at this time. Police say no charges will be filed until lab results are completed.
No injuries or fumes were reported in connection with the suspected mobile meth lab.
Over the past year, mobile meth labs, also commonly referred to as "shake and bake", have consistently been the subject of news reports in the U.S. For instance, in Dec. 2011, a woman in Oklahoma made headlines after she was caught making meth in one of the aisles of a Tulsa Walmart store.