Written by attorney Jeremy S Geigle

Shoplifting & Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor: Mother Forces Daughter to Steal Clothes

A mother coerced her eleven-year-old daughter, a young boy, and a 61-year-old lady to accompany her in stealing from an Old Navy clothing store.

The four individuals entered the building around 8 p.m. and dispersed to different areas of the store, where they began stuffing bags with clothes and jewelry. Security succeeded in stopping the girl and the older woman; however, the boy and mother were able to escape.

When police questioned the young girl, she stated that her mother told her to take the items and meet her out by the car; the 11-year-old had $123.95 worth of merchandise hidden in her purse.

The mother refused to pick up her daughter from the police station and denied ever being in the store. She then called back later and admitted to stealing, but still refused to collect her daughter. The woman is wanted for retail fraud, child neglect, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Arizona law states that a person commits shoplifting if, while in an establishment in which merchandise is displayed for sale, the person knowingly obtains such goods of another with the intent to deprive that person of such goods by:

  1. Removing any of the goods from the immediate display or from any other place within the establishment without paying the purchase price; or

  2. Charging the purchase price of the goods to a fictitious person or any person without that person’s authority; or

  3. Paying less than the purchase price of the goods by some trick or artifice such as altering, removing, substituting or otherwise disfiguring any label, price tag or marking; or

  4. Transferring the goods from one container to another; or

  5. Concealment.

A.R.S. 13-3613 defines contributing to the delinquency of a minor as follows:

A person who by any act encourages, causes, or contributes to the delinquency of a minor is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. Delinquency in this context refers to any act that injures the morals, welfare, or health of a child.

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