Police: Mom busted shoplifting with daughter

June 26, 2012 4:37:08 PM PDT
Police say a suspected shoplifter left something very important behind at the scene of the crime - her daughter. Action News was on the scene when a young mother was taken into police custody. Her four-year-old daughter was handed off to relatives. Around 11 a.m. Tuesday, police say the 28-year-old woman was inside the rainbow clothing store in the 3600 block of Germantown Avenue, she had her 4-year-old daughter at her side, and police say she was definitely up to no good.

"Store employees reported to us that she was seen putting objects, clothing, into a bag and when they confronted her- she ran from the store," according to Captain Frank Vanore of the Philadelphia Police. "Fled the store and left the child behind."

Employees took the abandoned child aside and called police. Minutes went by as officers gathered information and contacted the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. Police say about a half hour after the woman fled the store without her daughter, she then came back looking to get her little girl.

"I don't know what was going through somebody's mind, but at some point she did go back and try to return to the child and at that point officers took her into custody," Capt. Vanore told Action News.

People shopping on Germantown Avenue this afternoon were appalled that a mother might take her own child shoplifting and even more stunned that she would leave her behind.

Tyrone Howard of Northeast Philadelphia said, "I mean -- then leave your child. That's sad right there. How could you leave your child? That's your child! Then come back - should never have brought her in the first place."

"You don't shoplift with children and then leave a child behind like that," said Renee Howerton of Northeast Philadelphia. "That's sad. She deserves to suffer."

The girl's mother remains in police custody. She is being processed right now at East Detectives. She is being charged with retail theft and child endangerment. The child is in the care of her grandmother.