Woman uses 9-year-old son to help shoplift from Walmart

Contributed Photo

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – A woman allegedly had her 9-year-old son scan an altered price tag and then utilized the bag the fraudulently paid-for item was placed in to steal more goods from Walmart on Thursday, Nov. 21.

An officer was dispatched at about 12:54 p.m. to the store at 755 S. 20th Ave. regarding a shoplifting incident. Upon arrival, the store’s asset protection manager informed the officer that the suspect, later identified as Trisha Simmons, had been observed taking a reduced sticker off a garment bag and placing it over the UPC of a $29.88 Nerf gun so when it scanned it would come up as $3.21.

The mother then sent her son to scan and pay for the item in the self-checkout aisle while she awaited with more items in her grocery cart. The youth did not have enough money for the fraudulently-priced item, so they went to their car and returned with enough change to purchase it at the fake, reduced price.

They then put the Nerf gun into a Walmart bag and walked back to where the grocery cart was left. The mother then bagged up the other items from the cart and attempted to leave through the garden center without paying. The total price of the stolen items was $42.69.

When interviewed by the officer, Simmons said her son “wanted the Nerf gun really bad” and she didn’t have the money for it so she switched the tag so he could get it for the reduced price. She said her son insisted on checking it out himself, so she gave him the money while she waited at the entrance of the self-checkout. She also advised that she realized she didn’t give him enough money and they had to go to the car and get some additional change.

After purchasing the Nerf gun, she said she placed the items in the bag with the gun and tried to leave the store. She said she had “heard of other people shoplifting and getting away with it so because she had no money, she thought she would try.”

Simmons did not have any prior record for shoplifting or theft and was given a citation for shoplifting and was released. She was cautioned about charges she could have gotten, especially for involving her son in the crime.

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