Mom teaches kids criminal lessons early in life
Southwest FloridaCrime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying two women who utilized the innocence of several young children to commit a felony crime earlier this week.
According to deputies, two adult females, and five young children, entered the Gymboree store at 20350 Summerlin Road, Fort Myers, on Tuesday evening, July 23, to go shopping. When they approached the check out counter, another female was there speaking with one of the employees. When the suspect became engaged in that conversation, one of the children swiped the victims wallet, which was left on the counter. Once the stolen wallet was in hand, the troupe quickly exited the store and left in a white colored vehicle. The victim’s phone was also taken, but was found shortly thereafter along the roadside near Tanger Outlets.
Within an hour, credit cards left in the wallet were used twice at Pier One Imports for charges of more than $200, as well as the Foot Locker at the Edison Mall, charging up two initial fraudulent purchases for roughly $400. When the suspect and her children, ranging in age from 5-12, returned to make a third purchase for approximately $600 in shoes, the card was declined, as the victim had reported her credit cards as being stolen.
According to witnesses, the unknown female suspect clearly used the young children to distract the victim in order to steal her wallet. Now, Crime Stoppers is hoping someone will be able to put a face with the names of the two older women in the video. The main suspect is described as a larger black female with gold teeth, who was wearing a black shower cap at the time. Upon her identification and arrest, she will be charged with grand theft. The second female, who may be in her 20s, also faces charges of benefitting in the proceeds of grand theft.