BRANDON, Fla. - A Tampa woman took four young children to Walmart to help her steal more than 100 items from store shelves, Hillsborough Sheriff's deputies said.
Erica Young was arrested Thursday morning on one count of grand theft and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors. At least two of the children involved were neighbors' children and not related to Young.
According to deputies, Young brought the children, aged 6, 9, 10, and 11 to the Walmart on Causeway Boulevard after midnight. Loss prevention employees told deputies they saw Young shove 134 miscellaneous items into bags and hand them to two of the children.
Store employees stopped the children as they left the store. The police report says Young asked two girls to take the items and, "go outside and start the vehicle and to wait."
Young bonded out of jail and said, "I didn't get caught with anything. It was the children who got caught." None of the children was charged with a crime.
Deputies say Young's son tried to stop his mother from committing the crime. "He knew what his mother was doing was wrong and he told her so," the report states.
The Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating.
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