Russian pensioner, 81, dies in custody after 'stealing butter'

A Russian woman aged 81 died in a police station, apparently from a heart attack, after being detained at a supermarket on suspicion of stealing butter, police said.

Saint Petersburg: A Russian woman aged 81 died in a police station, apparently from a heart attack, after being detained at a supermarket on suspicion of stealing butter, police said.

The woman died after complaining of feeling unwell in a police station in Kronstadt, a port town close to Saint Petersburg, where she was detained on suspicion of theft, the regional police service said in a statement.

A Kronstadt police duty officer told AFP that the woman was suspected of stealing butter, but declined to give further details.

RIA Novosti, citing the interior ministry, reported that the woman was suspected of stealing three packs of butter from the store.

Butter costs around 50 to 80 rubles (75 cents to USD1.20) for a pack of 200 grams.

Prosecutors said they were investigating the incident at a branch of a budget supermarket chain, adding that the woman was accused of petty theft and not carrying ID.

Pensioners in Russia who receive a basic state pension struggle to get by and buy basic essentials, despite pension increases under President Vladimir Putin. 

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