Texas police identify ice cream licker as juvenile girl

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LUFKIN, Texas (AP) -

Police in East Texas say a teenager from San Antonio is suspected of taking a tub of ice cream from a Walmart freezer, removing the top to lick the ice cream and then returning it to the freezer.

Blue Bell Creameries said in a statement that it determined a Walmart store in Lufkin was where "the malicious act of food tampering took place."

A short video posted to social media last week shows the teenage girl laughing as she places the top back on the half-gallon container and returning it to the freezer.

Blue Bell says the container that was "compromised" was found and removed.

The company says "food tampering is not a joke."

Lufkin police said Friday that they don't intend to charge the teen with tampering with a consumer product.

It's not clear if juvenile justice authorities may charge her.


Previous story by CNN:

Police aren't resting until they catch the person who opened a carton of ice cream at a Texas Walmart, licked the creamy goodness and put it back in the freezer.

Lufkin Police say they are searching for a woman who gleefully contaminated a half-gallon of Blue Bell Tin Roof ice cream -- which the company describes as "a vanilla ice cream with a rich chocolate fudge swirl and roasted peanuts dipped in dark chocolate" -- last week in a Twitter video that has garnered more than 11 million views.

Police say the woman faces a charge of second-degree felony tampering with a consumer product, which carries two to 20 years behind bars and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

Blue Bell called the unsettling footage a "malicious act" in a statement on its website.

The ice cream maker said it inspected the freezer case that contained the licked ice cream, found the problematic tub and removed all Tin Roof half gallons from the Lufkin Walmart.

(More: Texas Walmart has 'armed' employee guarding Blue Bell ice cream)

"The safety of our ice cream is our highest priority, and we work hard to maintain the highest level of confidence of our customers. Food tampering is not a joke, and we will not tolerate tampering with our products," Blue Bell said.

A Walmart in Corpus Christi isn't taking any chances with its own ice cream stock.

To protect its frozen goods, the store said, it stationed an "armed" guard in front of its precious Blue Bell freezer and posted a photo Wednesday of an employee holding a squirt gun; the photo was removed about 18 hours later.

"We're guarding our Blue Bell Ice cream for your Weekend party, what a great way to cool down in the Hot Texas heat !" the post said.

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