Philadelphia police search for alleged shoplifters who left baby at Walmart

The security guards found the three-month-old girl in the store after the shoplifting suspects fled the scene.

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Police search for alleged shoplifters who left baby at Philly Walmart
Philadelphia police search for alleged shoplifters who left baby at Walmart

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are still looking for the suspects accused of leaving an infant inside a Walmart after they were caught shoplifting.

It's a situation customers, many of them parents themselves, can't believe.

Armani Juela was walking into the store with his 1-month-old son when he heard about what happened.

"Why would you leave your kid, you know? It's more important than like your keys, you know?" he said.

It all happened Thursday at around 11 p.m. at the Walmart in the 4300 block of Byberry Road in Northeast Philadelphia.

READ MORE: Police searching for 3 people after infant abandoned at Philadelphia Mills Walmart

Police are searching for three people who they say abandoned an infant inside a Walmart store in Northeast Philadelphia.

Security guards confronted two men and a woman for shoplifting. The suspects ran away. That's when security guards found a 3-month-old baby girl who was left behind.

"I'm speechless," said Maria Heller of Glenside as she loaded groceries into her car at the store. "I can't imagine doing that. It's an instinct, you never leave your baby."

The baby girl was taken to Jefferson-Torresdale Hospital on Thursday night. She was said to be in good condition.

On Monday afternoon, investigators told Action News the baby is now with her mother as police look for the adults who left her while trying to evade security officers. Further details on how the suspects knew the infant were not immediately clear.

The case is now in the hands of the Special Victims Unit.

"It's a crime," said Geraldine Bauer of Northeast Philadelphia. "They should be arrested and put in jail. That poor baby!"

Parents are among the many customers at the store. Knowing that the very aisles where they shop are the same aisles where a baby girl was abandoned is unbelievable to customers like Brittany Fife, who has a baby daughter of her own.

"Oh I love her more than anything," said Fife as her toddler sat in the front of the basket she was pushing. "That's why I can't imagine somebody doing that. It's crazy."

Investigators are still doing interviews and will soon issue arrest warrants.

Police have not said who

Anyone with information is asked to call the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3260, or submit a tip anonymously via the police department's tip line at 215-686-TIPS (8477), or dial 911.