Mother reportedly uses 8-year-old daughter to steal from local businesses

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 25 at 12:47 PM

 (KMOV) --  A mother-daughter duo is accused of hitting up a number of local stores in downtown St. Louis and stealing clothes and jewelry.

According to authorities, a woman in her late 30s is accused of using her daughter, believed to be 8-years-old, as an accomplice as she robbed several small stores on Friday. 

Surveillance video showed a guard manning the front door at The Collective on Washington Avenue but those extra set of eyes on the camera and on the floor were no match for the woman or the little girl.

“I know I saw this shirt when she was outside, it was underneath one of her sweatshirts,” said Nicole Benoist owner of The Collective.

Benoist said that the one concealing the clothes appeared to be the girl.

“As a mom, I have two children - my son is 7 and my daughter is 4. I cannot even wrap my head around it,” said Benoist.  

Benoist said it was too late when she realized what had happened but she did make a call, alerting other stores on the block.

“She warned me that there was a lady shopping with her daughter,” said Lauren Adcock of Trova who met the same woman who said she was in tow with her daughter for the NCAA tournament.

“After she left I went over and inspected the area that she was in, and noticed a ring that was missing,” said Adcock.

While shoplifting is rare at either store, the owners say any small loss can add up to be big.

“We’re a small business. I have 45 vendors who are all small businesses. So, it’s especially tough on us, when things like this happen because we’re not a big giant retailer,” said Benoist.

The owner of The Collective said that even though they have surveillance video of the pair, she didn’t file a police report because it seemed apparent the duo likely wouldn’t be caught.

But other boutiques in the area have been alerted to keep an eye out for this pair.

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