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Twin Cities Mother Charged With Shoplifting — With Kids

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(credit: CBS) Liz Collin
At 15 years old, Liz Collin made her broadcast debut covering...
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By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

WEST ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A Twin Cities mother has been charged with allegedly using her kids to shoplift.

Police say Georgina Arroyo and her teenage children went into a West St. Paul K-Mart to carry out the plan.

Manilla Shaver is the Police Chief in West St. Paul.

“It’s disappointing when parents aren’t instilling good work habits, and instead they’re passing down deviant behavior to their children,” Shaver said.

With her 14-year old daughter in tow, Arroyo selected a perfume box in a plastic sleeve.

Police say Arroyo looked around for cameras. When they spotted one, they moved to another aisle. That’s when her daughter used a scissors and cut the perfume out of the box. They didn’t know a camera was right there.

“The technology has not only gotten better, it’s gotten cheaper. Where a store could only afford to put in six cameras — they have to strategically place them. Now, they can afford to cover the store floor,” Shaver said.

Store security stopped the three before they left. They found a pack of gloves in the pants of Arroyo’s 15-year-old son and two sets of earrings stuffed in his shirt pockets.

West St. Paul Police see a couple of shoplifting cases like this a year. A family shopping trip turned into a crime spree, cases even clear evidence doesn’t stop.

“People don’t learn once they get caught and sometimes they’re back again shoplifting in the same store a month later. It just seems to be a cycle for us,” Shaver said.

Arroyo is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Her kids were also cited for shoplifting.

It’s not the first time Arroyo’s been in trouble with the law. Five years ago, she was convicted of child abuse.

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