NEWBURYPORT — A Danvers woman with 20 prior shoplifting offenses was banned from a downtown store after admitting to a Newburyport District Court judge on Friday that she stole about $300 worth of merchandise in 2019. 

Lisa E. Nielson, 44, of Reservoir Drive pleaded guilty to shoplifting (third offense) and was sentenced to six months of probation. She was also ordered to pay $300 restitution to the owner of B.C. Essentials and stay out of the Pleasant Street store. 

The store owner called police on Aug. 17, 2019, saying that Nielson shoved a pair of sandals in her purse and then a handful of greeting cards.

After doing so, she purchased a tote bag, giving an employee a credit card number.

The credit card number and video surveillance footage led police to charging Nielson, according to a Newburyport police report.

“The camera captured Lisa stuffing the Swarovski sandals into her purse, which was black in color, while trying to hide behind a clothing rack that was located towards the back of the store,” then-Officer Tori Smith wrote in her report.

Smith said Nielson shoved the greeting cards into her purse while a store employee had her back turned as she helped another customer.

“(The owner) told me that Lisa ended up ultimately buying a gray tote bag, which she purchased using her personal credit card. (The owner) told me that she was able to positively identify Lisa Nielson because she used a personal credit card,” Smith wrote in her report.

Video footage of the incident was shown to Newburyport police Inspector Chris McDonald, who also positively identified Nielson based on a previous shoplifting incident, Smith added.

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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