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An alleged shoplifter is now facing additional charges after she told Alaska State Troopers she had recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Elisa Johnson, 32, of Wasilla, was contacted by troopers after AST received a report of a shoplifter at Three Bears on Pittman Tuesday at about 4 p.m. After Johnson was detained, arrested and transported to the patrol car, she told troopers that she had recently tested positive for coronavirus, according to an online dispatch posted by AST.

“AST personnel immediately began required notification and decontamination procedures,” troopers said.

Johnson did retract her claim.

“AST wishes to clearly remind the public that making a false claim of infection of a highly communicable disease or virus is terroristic threatening in the second degree, a class C felony punishable by imprisonment up to five years and up to a $500,000 fine,” troopers said.

Troopers added that if a person intentionally coughs, sneezes or spits and places a person in reasonable fear of injury or illness, or causes the potential need for the evacuation of a building or the suspension of services, such as taking a trooper vehicle out of commission to decontaminate, it could lead to a charge of terroristic threatening in the first degree, a class B felony, which could lead to up to 10 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

After troopers contacted Johnson initially, Johnson gave a false identification. Once troopers learned of Johnson’s actual identity, AST discovered three outstanding warrants for trespassing, misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fifth degree and providing false identification. A new theft charge was added after the arrest on Tuesday.

Contact the Frontiersman at news@frontiersman.com.

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