Actress Winona Ryder charged with four felonies in Dec. 12 shoplifting arrest

Friday, February 1st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Winona Ryder was charged Friday with four felony counts stemming from her shoplifting arrest at a Saks Fifth Avenue in December.

The Oscar-nominated actress was charged with theft, burglary, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance. Although she is free on $20,000 bond, prosecutors recommended raising the bail to $30,000.

She is scheduled to be arraigned in Beverly Hills on Feb. 8.

The 30-year-old actress was arrested Dec. 12 for stealing merchandise worth $4,760 and possessing painkillers without a prescription.

Beverly Hills police said store security officers saw her remove security tags from the store items, place them in her bag and leave the store.

Ryder's attorney, Mark Geragos, contended the ``Girl, Interrupted'' star was merely carrying items between store departments, not trying to steal them. He said she had receipts for other items she bought in the store, and a valid prescription for the painkillers.

Ryder earned Oscar nominations for playing the heroines in period films, ``Little Women'' and ``The Age of Innocence.'' She also won acclaim for depicting a troubled young woman in ``Girl, Interrupted'' and starred in ``Heathers,'' ``Beetlejuice'' and ``Reality Bites.''

A star since her teens, Ryder grew up in hippie surroundings, living at times in San Francisco and on a California commune. Her family's friends included beat poet Allen Ginsberg, and her godfather was psychedelic drug advocate Timothy Leary.

Ryder has maintained a grueling film schedule she has blamed for causing occasional mental breakdowns.