Daily Outrage: Hoaxster tells discount store crowd she’ll pay their tabs 

WHO: A generous but possibly delusional Linda Brown

WHAT: Mystery-woman Brown showed up in a rented stretch Hummer limousine at a Burlington Coat Factory store in Columbus, Ohio. She loudly announced at the cash registers that she had won $1.5 million in the lottery and would pay up to $500 for each person’s merchandise. Customers flooded the checkouts as at least 500 people filled the aisles, while another 1,000 were outside trying to get in. Two dozen police officers arrived to handle the crowd.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: After about an hour, Brown, 44, had the limo driver take her to a bank to withdraw money for the total tab, but she returned empty-handed. At that point a riot and major looting ensued, leaving the store looking “like Hurricane Katrina went through.”

WHAT’S BEING DONE: Linda Brown was arrested on three prior warrants, but no charges for the coat store chaos have yet been filed against her, pending a mental health evaluation. Her address also remained unknown, according to early press reports.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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