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Woman flees store with stolen goods, but leaves baby behind

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 3:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2, 2010
Posted: 3:06 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2, 2010

WEST PALM BEACH —— After stealing merchandise from JCPenney's junior department Friday, two women made it through the store's exit doors without being caught.

But when JCPenney employees saw the women left a 10-month-old behind, it was over.

Crystal Whitaker, 23, of Lake Park was charged with child abuse without great harm, child neglect without causing great harm, contributing the to delinquency of a dependent and theft, police records show.

Whitaker, and the unidentified woman with her, went into a dressing room with clothes to try on and came out with $256 worth of merchandise hidden in a JCPenney bag.

The police report says an employee tried stopping the women but they ran outside too quickly.

No problem, as the employee the saw the 10-month-old standing on the sidewalk, all of the stolen merchandise on the ground and Whitaker's purse-providing the store with her identification.

The baby and a 16-year-old that was seen with Whitaker were taken inside for questioning, the police report said. The 16-year-old told police that she was not involved in attempting to steal the items.

The Florida Department of Children and Families came to the store to pick up the abandoned 10-month-old, the report said.

Whitaker was released on her own recognizance while being supervised, records show.

Staff Writer Eliot Kleinberg contributed to this story.

Click to view image: 'bff552552332-crystal_whitaker_505092k.jpg'

Added: Aug-3-2010 Occurred On: Aug-2-2010
By: gregory_peckory
Tags: shoplifting, baby, JC Penney, Florida
Views: 8244 | Comments: 21 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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