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Young Mother, Preteen Steal from Stockton Store

STOCKTON -- A woman with a young child on her hip and a preteen are suspected of orchestrating a theft March 21 in Stockton.

The manager of the Wilson Way store told FOX40 he doesn't understand how anyone with a child could teach, let alone condone, crime. He's said that soon he’ll be turning in video surveillance of the crime to the Stockton Police Department.

The video shows the woman holding the child and a young boy close behind. It starts out innocent enough but seconds later the boy runs his fingers through his hair, approaches the glass counter and when he sees no one is looking, scoops up a speaker and makes a run for it.

“It’s sad how you teach kids how to steal so young and it’s all right. That’s why it’s messed up," the manager, who chose to hide his identity, told FOX40.

The manager said seeing the kid steal was bad enough but when he reviewed the surveillance footage and saw the woman hurriedly placing the child in the back seat, getting the car ready while the theft was occurring, he was dumbfounded.

“That’s what made me laugh," he said. "That’s why I posted the video because it made me laugh. It’s sad how people are.”

He said he did not realize what had happened until days later, when he took a look at the surveillance footage. Then he saw that a second set of speakers were also stolen.

Two days later, another woman and man, also with a young boy, were caught casually walking away with the other speaker.

"Second one, it’s kind of sad because we know... we’ve helped her quite a bit and for them to do that, that’s why it surprised me," the manager said.

As for the stolen speakers, both were supposed to be raffled off in May.

The manager wants to give the family a chance to do the right thing. "We’re going to call their phones today and if not, we’re going to file a report.”

On Wednesday, the mother of the preteen boy from the first theft walked into the store, according to the manager. She apologized repeatedly and explained that the mother with the child on her hip was a minor and her son was the girl's cousin.

She had seen the footage and decided to pay the store back for the speaker.

The manager also reports the family from the second theft was contacted and will also be paying for the stolen speakers.

As a result, the manager told FOX40 he will not file charges against the suspected thieves.

“It’s a nice little speaker but it’s not the fact that we lost the money on it, it’s just the fact that the little kid steal it. That’s why I posted it,” the manager said.