Adults in family of nine suspected of using children to steal electronics from Toys 'R' Us
Mollie Reynolds, wptv.com
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Deputies in Florida say two adults used their kids to help steal. And now they're trying to identify a family of nine.
Two adults and seven children walked into the Toys R Us store in Boca Raton on Oct. 28, according to police.
Deputies say the video shows the group in the electronics aisle, the kids crawling under the shelves while the grown-ups stood by.
Toys R Us believes the adults told the kids to find and remove anti-theft devices from electronic tablets.
"That's the worst thing I have ever heard," said Dana Gabbay, a parent who lives in suburban Boca Raton.
Deputies say after the kids were able to disable two of the devices, the adults picked up two e-tablets and walked out of the store.
"Children learn what they live. Not often what we say but what we do," said Cherie Benjoseph, the founder of a foundation that advocates for safer environments for children. "It's abuse. It's child abuse," she said.
Benjoseph says these particular children might not even understand that what they helped do is wrong, because they implicitly trust their parents.
"How they understand what's appropriate and not appropriate and what's legal and appropriate behavior and how we function as citizens in our world is being warped," said Benjoseph. "They will need help to rectify that."
But first, police have to find them, and they're urging everyone to look at the video they released.
Benjoseph reminds it's now a crime in Florida if you don't report an adult who puts a child in a dangerous situation.
"I just feel really sorry for the children that that is the example being set for them," said Boca Raton parent Kersten Fairleigh.
Both adults are estimated to be around 40 and were in the store on October 28 at around 7 p.m..
If you have information, you're urged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS.