By Ryan Yousefi
A Hollywood woman was charged with retail grand theft after an investigation revealed she had shoplifted over 70 packages of allergy medicine from a Coral Springs Walgreens before an unrelated arrest.
Michele Lynn Neilly, 32, was charged on October 22 after a lengthy investigation into a July 2019 theft of over $2,100 in allergy medication from the Walgreens located at 4601 North State Road 7.
On July 29, Walgreens contacted the Coral Springs Police Department to report a large retail theft. According to the report, when officers arrived, they were shown a video of a woman leaving the store with a Publix bag full of over-the-counter allergy medications, such as Zyrtec, without attempting to pay.
Walgreens staff told officers the woman claimed to be a couponer and was given access to a larger amount of the medication than on display. After placing them in her bag, the staff said the woman walked to a checkout area, took her bag out of the cart, and exited the store without paying.
A Walgreens manager was able to run outside and witness the woman fleeing in a white GMC SUV but could not capture the license plate.
On October 8, 2020, a CSPD officer working on the case received follow-up information about a woman, Michele Lyn Neilly, who was known to have recently pawned a large amount of allergy medication. Further investigation found that Neilly was currently incarcerated but was not in custody at the time of the Walgreen theft.
Officers compared Neilly’s mugshots to that of the incident’s video and determined that she matched the suspect’s description. Walgreens management was given a photo line-up that included Neilly and was 80-90-percent certain she was the woman that had committed the crime.
Officers then collaborated with Neilly’s probation officers, who confirmed having seen Neilly arrive at her probation appointments in a white SUV that matched the vehicle’s description linked to the Walgreens crime. DMV records subsequently revealed that Neilly’s husband owned a white GMC SUV registered under his name.
Neilly has a history of drug-related crimes in Broward County. In 2017, officers found her unresponsive, lying on the ground beside her vehicle with a child strapped in a car seat. Dania Beach Fire Rescue workers arrived and administered Narcan, an overdose antidote, and she regained consciousness, the report said.
Neilly later admitted to having overdosed on heroin. The Department of Children and Families was involved in the case, and her husband kept custody of their child.
With Neilly already in custody, officers added a charge of grand theft of over $2,000 to her record for the crime.
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- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.