Mom accused of using daughter to steal from Old Navy

Troy police say 11-year-old tells them her mother told her to walk out of store with bag full of stolen items

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

TROY, Mich. - It's a mother/daughter shopping trip, gone wrong.

Troy police say an 11-year-old girl was used Saturday in a shoplifting scheme at the Old Navy on Coolidge Highway.

Her 50-year-old mother from Detroit walked into Old Navy with her purse and filled it with everything from baby clothes, jewelry to women's clothing, police said.

That's when the mother put the purse on her daughters shoulder and had the 11-year-old walk out with it, police said.  

"That's exactly what the 11-year-old told us, that her mom said take this purse and go wait by the car," said Lt. Bob Redmond.

Old Navy security along with loss prevention officers stopped the 11-year-old girl at about 8 p.m. before she even left the store. But another Detroit woman, 61, presumably a friend, was also arrested. The 11-year-olds mother was not taken into police custody because she left the store separately. 

"We called the mother and she denied ever being at the store and claimed she was on a boat, she wouldn't even come and pick up her own child," Redmond said.  

The girl was released to another family member.

Later that evening, at 10:30 p.m, the mother called police back and admitted lying about her whereabouts. However, she refused to come to the police station to make a statement.

 Erin Bell is from Royal Oak and shops at this Old Navy on a regular basis with her kids and she said she can't believe a mother would do this to her own flesh and blood. 

"We worry about what they eat, where they go, who they hang out with, for a mother to encourage stealing is just pathetic," said Bell. 

Troy police are seeking an arrest warrant for the mother for retail fraud, child neglect and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.