Fact Check

Cookie Dough Explodes During Shoplifting Incident

Fake news site rips off a hoary urban legend to create a clickbait fake news story.

Published Dec 16, 2015

A can of cookie dough exploded inside a woman's vagina during a shoplifting incident at Walmart.

On 14 December 2015, the web site Now8News published an article positing that a Walmart shoplifter was caught red-handed when a grocery item she attempted to pilfer "exploded" inside of her:

An incident coming out of Greenville, North Carolina is just one example of what some people will do around the holidays when they are short on cash. A 34-year-old mother of 3 is now under arrest after a shoplifting incident turned tragic. Witnesses say Shatuanee Greene entered the North Carolina Walmart on Sunday with her three children ages 5, 7, and 8 when she grabbed a can of pre-made Christmas cookie dough. CCTV footage shows the young mother take the can to the toy aisle as her children crowded around her. Greene then lifted up her skirt and made the can of cookie dough "disappear."

When Greene was approached by Walmart security, she told her children to go find their Aunt in the front of the store. "I told her to hand over the cookie dough," said Timothy Reiner, a security guard at Walmart. "That's when she turned around to run and I grabbed her by the arm. She put up a good fight, and that's when I tackled her to the ground. Then I heard a loud pop and the lady started screaming. Gooey cookie dough was running down her leg. All hot and runny ... it was so damn gross."

According to eyewitnesses, the EMT that treated Greene on the scene said the Pillsbury cookie dough can exploded in Greene's vagina during the fall causing her extreme pain. They removed the contents at the scene.

Nothing about this article was remotely true: It was simply another clickbait story published by Now8News, which is a fake news designed to resemble a local television news outlet. And the story itself wasn't even original but rather a rip-off of a long-circulating urban legend about a female shopper who mistakenly believes she has been shot after a can of biscuits explodes inside her hot car.

The image of the alleged shoplifter used to accompany the fake Now8News article posted on the Internet as early as April 2010 and is clearly not a mugshot taken following a December 2015 crime.  The accompanying photo of ambulances was taken from newspaper coverage of a mass shooting that took place, in part, at a North Carolina Walmart in June 2013.

Previous clickbait hoaxes published by Now8News included claims a man was found having sex with a pig in the bathroom of a Walmart; aborted fetuses were used to make Chicken McNuggets; Walmart bananas were infested with deadly parasitic worms; a woman was arrested after engaging in a sex act with a breakfast sausage; a separate woman was arrested for "trying on" feminine hygiene products at Walmart; a man fed the remains of his unfaithful fiancee to her parents; a man was discovered cannibalizing a teen inside a haunted house attraction; and a lottery winner died after gold plating his genitalia.


Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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