WATERVILLE — A woman is being held without bail after an alleged shoplifting attempt turned into a plumbing mishap.

Vanessa Cayford, 36, of 49 Yeaton St., was arrested Wednesday at Rite Aid on Main Street after employees said Cayford took several packages of facial medication and cosmetics into the store’s bathroom, according to police chief Joseph Massey.

While inside, Cayford allegedly opened the merchandise, stuffed it into her clothing and attempted to flush the packaging down the toilet, he said.

Then the toilet clogged.

When employees saw Cayford leave the bathroom empty handed, they found the clogged drain and called police, Massey said.

When police arrived, Cayford became combative and had to be subdued with pepper spray, Massey said.

She was charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, a class E misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines; refusing to submit to arrest, a class D misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison; and criminal mischief for plugging the toilet, also a class D misdemeanor.

She was also charged for violating conditions of release and held without bail.

Massey said Cayford was convicted on a theft charge in 2009.

Six other theft charges are pending, dating back to 2010. She is also prohibited from entering six area stores, including Rite Aid.

Cayford is scheduled to appear in Kennebec Superior Court on April 10.

Ben McCanna — 861-9239

[email protected]

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