A Cookeville woman who hallucinated she was being pursued by gangsters is facing theft charges after she stole clothes to disguise herself from her non-existent stalkers.
Police say the woman, Tisha Shannon Sanker, 33, admitted she had been using drugs for the past four days.
“She was seeing things that weren’t there,” said McMinnville patrolman Rachel Nichols who investigated what began as a shoplifting call at Walmart.
The patrolwoman said when she talked to Sanker and her boyfriend, they both claimed they had experienced trouble with a gang from Nashville recently.
“They felt the gang had followed them to McMinnville,” Nichols wrote in her report on the incident. “Ms. Sanker was experiencing extreme paranoia.”
Her paranoia was evident by her belief that regular citizens she saw in the Walmart parking lot were trying to harm her and her boyfriend.
While paranoia is not a crime, the bulge the officer found in her pants was a crime since the bulge ended up being a T-shirt she did not pay for.
“She stated she had stolen a T-shirt from Walmart because she was afraid the gang members were going to identify her,” Nichols said in her theft warrant against Sanker, suggesting she was going to put the shirt on once she got outside to disguise herself from the perceived gangsters.
The officer also found a bottle of Visine and some lip balm in the woman’s pocket, both items for which she could not show a receipt.