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A store manager told Det. David Hutchings he saw Heiss fill a shopping cart to overflowing before she went to a self-checkout register where she paid for three items but attempted to leave without paying for the rest of the contents of the cart. A store manager stopped her outside and asked her if she had a receipt for the goods in the cart. He told Hutchings she claimed her husband had the receipt and he was in the parking lot.
He told Hutchings he then asked her to return to the store with him but she told him she had to call her husband and then proceeded to walk away. Witnesses said they followed her towards the Enterprise Car Rental office while another employee flagged down a police officer, who happened to be in the lot at the time, and Heiss was placed under arrest.
Heiss was one of the stars on the Wife Swap television show inwhich featured participants placed with families of opposite lifestyles. The show apparently did not research the Heiss family in much detail. They called her a devoted housewife who overindulged her children and showed her husband, Edward J. Heiss Jr. InEdward J. Heiss pleaded no contest. He got a deferred sentence and was ordered to make restitution.
But the Heiss family had been in the news sincewhen Heiss and her husband filed a complaint against a Warwick police officer that lived near them on Larchwood Drive. That prompted the neighbors to call for a meeting with then Warwick Police Major Joseph Tavares, at which more than 50 neighbors gathered to present Tavares with a list of grievances against the Heiss family that began shortly after they moved to their Cowesett neighborhood in They told Tavares the Heiss children consistently harassed other residents of the neighborhood by yelling, throwing rocks and mooning them.
Tavares offered to handle the situation diplomatically and promised further action if that did not work.
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