Police responded and found a $5 bill and a small footprint nearby. The suspect's description also matched Chotia-Thompson.
Officers later arrested Chotia-Thompson without a struggle, perhaps after she learned that Kelly Fay Simons, 38, her alleged accomplice in a Murray robbery and a series of other heists dating to late last year, had been shot and killed in a confrontation with the Joint Criminal Apprehension Team (JCAT) earlier that day. Police say Simons exchanged gunfire with a Murray officer following a Saturday armed robbery.
On Jan. 9, Simons allegedly attempted to run down a JCAT officer with her pickup truck, prompting officers to shoot and kill her.
Police called Chotia-Thompson on her cellphone after the grocery store robbery, and while they were on the phone with her, investigators were able to trace her location to a parking lot at the Smith's store at 455 S. 600 East. Police had made a public plea that Chotia-Thompson give up peacefully in light of Simons' violent end.
"She was pretty distraught on the phone," Salt Lake City police Detective Mike Hamideh said the day after her arrest. He declined to say whether her angst was related to having learned of Simons' death. "Ultimately, [Chotia-Thompson] was contacted by an officer in the parking lot and taken into custody without incident."
A police sergeant found the gun on her, but it turned out to be an Airsoft pistol with the tip painted black, according to the charges.