Mother accused of using kids to steal from Alton store - KMOV.com

Mother accused of using kids to steal from Alton store

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Karen O'Neill By Lakisha Jackson Karen O'Neill By Lakisha Jackson

(KMOV)-- A mother is accused of using children to steal from an Alton K Mart store.

Authorities said Karen O’Neill, 35, from Mt. Olive, IL, is charged with contributing to the criminal delinquency of a child. A total of 5 kids were involved and some of them weren't her own. The kids ranged in age from 3 to 17 and there are indications that this wasn't the first time she's done this.
 
O’Neill is charged with three felony counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of burglary. 
 
Police said she apparently planned out this theft on the drive to Alton from Mt. Olive just for this purpose. 
 
Police got the call about 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The police report said O'Neill split the kids into two groups and told them to get whatever they wanted. They filled two carts with clothing, shoes, toys, grocery items including baby formula and food, and walked out the front door. O'Neill waited inside another 15 minutes to see whether or not they were going to be caught.
 
The chief said security was watching her and caught her when she left.
 
Police said the total haul was more than $800 worth of merchandise. But when O'Neill was arrested she had $1,000 in cash with her.
 
During questioning, one of the 17 year olds told police this was not the first time she had used them to pull this off. Alton police are working with other municipalities to see if they've had similar crimes.
 

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