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A Helena woman who was charged with felony theft for a March 2020 shoplifting spree pleaded guilty last week to a misdemeanor theft charge.

Melissa Stewart, 41, pleaded guilty to a theft, second offense, on Nov. 10. Gallatin County District Court Judge John Brown sentenced Stewart to serve three days in the Gallatin County Detention Center, with credit for three days already served, and to pay a $125 court fee.

According to court documents, law enforcement responded to a report of two women filling large bags with items at Bob Ward’s on Max Avenue in March 2020. The women had left by the time law enforcement arrived, but an employee had taken a video of their faces and vehicle, which was identified later the same day by law enforcement.

After arresting Stewart and another woman and receiving a search warrant signed, officers found about $2,900 worth of stolen merchandise in the vehicle. That total does not include stolen clothing with price tags removed, makeup, accessories, electronics, shoes or tools, according to court documents.

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at or at (406) 582-2651.

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