Police have arrested a couple in connection with a shoplift occurrence at a Walmart store in Louisville, Ky. on Oct. 12. The suspects allegedly stole merchandise and fled the store.
According to WKLY News in Louisville, the couple was attempting to leave the store with a stolen cellphone, and the male suspect had tried to remove a tablet computer from its display, reportedly destroying the display in the process. Meanwhile the female suspect hid some makeup under a baby car seat, according to police.
The alleged theft isn't the end of the story however. According to authorities, the couple has two young children who were brought along for the evening Walmart excursion. Not only did the couple purportedly steal, as they took off to escape being caught by security, the duo left their two young children behind in the store, the oldest aged three and the younger, an 18-month-old. The mother reportedly came back for the kids after the father fled.
Nineteen-year-old Kelsey Grobmeier and 20-year-old Michael S. Kaufman were arrested and charged with theft, criminal trespassing, endangering the welfare of a minor and tampering with physical evidence.
WDRB reports Grobmeier was caught a few months ago trying to steal from the same Walmart and had been told not to return to the store.
According to the National Learning & Resource Center (NASP), more than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers annually and 75 percent of shoplifters are adults.
No statistics were located on how many of these adult shoplifters bring their children along for the trip.
However, this past June a South Florida mother was arrested in connection with stealing DVDs from a Walmart and putting her daughter's and her own life in danger. In that instance, police charged the woman with strong arm robbery, battery, child cruelty and attempted felony death. After a custody hearing, the 5-year-old child was placed under guardianship of the state.
Also in June a trio of women were accused of shoplifting from a KMart in South Carolina. Two of the women were in the store and got into a "scuffle" with security, while the third woman took off in the getaway car with a 14-month-old baby in the back, unrestrained and thrown from the car.
Sadly parents bringing their children on shoplifting sprees, and in some cases, causing them bodily harm, is perhaps a not-so-rare occurrence. Some parents even have their children participate in their shoplifting activities.
No sources have reported a court date for either Grobmeier or Kaufman.