Walmart breaks bad: active meth lab found inside Missouri store

Apparently, corporate profits just aren't enough for some global megabusinesses these days: a Walmart store in South St. Louis County, Missouri was emptied by police when an "active methamphetamine production laboratory" was discovered inside.

Now, it's entirely possible that the "lab" consisted of an empty plastic bottle and some chemicals, but still, you guys: some tweeker was cooking crystal inside a freakin' Walmart.

The store was open and full of customers when it was cleared about 6:15 p.m. Thursday after employees and then police discovered the possible hazardous situation involving the substances used to make methamphetamine, St. Louis County police Lt. Mark Cox said. The chemicals were discovered after police were called about a shoplifter. Cox did not yet know details of the "lab," how it was put together or where in the store it was located.

UPDATE: It gets weirder. This local news report further clarifies that a woman detained for shoplifting at the Walmart "began to make meth in the loss prevention office."

Now that is baller. You're busted for shoplifting, placed in what amounts to a holding cell inside the store, and how do you kill time? Makin' ice!

"Loss prevention had detained the woman, and she was placed in a holding area until officers arrived," reports KDSK-TV.

"While she was detained, she began cooking meth in the holding room."

Sounds like an improvised mobile setup—she's no Heisenberg, and that's no blue.

Good news, though, the store will only be closed for three hours. And, nobody got their face chewed off.

Here's a photo of hazmat guys cleaning it up. And a local Patch.com article has more details here.

Sarah Flagg, writing on a local Patch.com page, says it was "a portable meth lab in her purse," also known as “shake and bake.” These are often fashioned on the fly from a two-liter or 20-ounce beverage bottle (the size Bloomberg is outlawing in New York City... coincidence?).

Shake 'n' Bake is an actual thing. It is, as you might imagine, very dangerous: a resulting explosion can kill or seriously burn the "cook" and any bystanders.

(thanks, @harringtonkent)