(Riverton, Wyo.) – A shoplifting ring operating at the Walmart Supercenter in Riverton left one important thing behind in their snatch and grab activities on Wednesday – a 12-year-old female member.
Riverton Police Captain Eric Murphy said today that Walmart Loss and Prevention officials called the police department just before 8 a.m. to report one member of a group of children was left behind after she, her grandmother and three other juveniles filled up carts full of merchandise, dashed out of the store and fled in a Suburban.
When police arrived, the 12-year-old was found with four cans of Red Bull, a Coke and a bag of Doritos in her possession.
Store officials said they noticed the older woman and the juveniles after they began filling shopping carts with clothes, groceries and other items, including television sets and a computer monitor.
The three children and the older woman dashed out of the store, according to the police report and took the carts full of goods to a black Suburban parked in the lot where a man exited the vehicle and helped unload the items. They all got in and sped away, but forgot about the 12-year-old.
“According to the girl, who was wearing only a T-shirt, thin slacks and slippers (the temperature outside was 28°F), her grandmother drives them to the store and tells them to take certain items,” Murphy said, reading off of the report. “She said the other juveniles were her cousins.” Murphy also said the girl told officers that “Grandma calls me stupid because I don’t remember all the items” she’s supposed to steal. Murphy said the girl said the group goes shoplifting “all the time.”
Northern Arapaho Department of Family Services was contacted for the 12-year-old and when they arrived, the DFS staff said they knew who the family was and gave police the address. When arriving at the house, there were four children inside, ranging in age from four to 10 years old, and no adults.
Citations are pending against several, including the 37-year-old mother of the 12-year-old for Child Endangerment and Shoplifting, and the woman’s 16-year-old son who will be cited for Shoplifting. Citations are also pending against the 58-year-old grandmother and possibly against the other children in the ring. Ages of the other children were not available.
Shoplifting at the Riverton Walmart is an ongoing problem with numerous citations and arrests nearly every day and at least every week.