Babysitter accused making children help with theft

- A Winter Haven woman has been arrested for forcing two kids she was babysitting to steal from a Walmart on Cypress Gardens Blvd.

"If you want to commit crime and do the time, that's fine," said Winter Haven spokeswoman Jamie Brown. "But don't drag children into it."

Investigators say Alaina West took a 14-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy into the store to steal about $1,000 of electronics. They allegedly piled items into two carts and headed out the front door; the girl pushing one cart and West pushing the other.

LaToya DeLoach-Anglin said she saw them coming into the parking lot and did a double-take. She watched as they shoved everything into a little car and got ready to take off.

"I'm like, 'Is she stealing this stuff?' I'm like, 'Oh my God, she is stealing!'" she told FOX 13 News.

So she pulled out her cell phone and started to record the chaos.

Store surveillance video, meanwhile shows a security guard approaching the car from behind. West hits the gas before the little girl had a chance to get in. West hit the gas a second time and the car lunged forward into a Winter Haven police cruiser.

Eventually, West was arrested and the kids were interviewed.

"They told our investigators they knew it was wrong, but they knew no other thing to do. They had to do it because they were with her. They had no other out,"  said Brown.

In court, a judge set bond at $22,000, then revoked it when he found out that West was convicted of stealing a kiddie pool and kitchen ware from another Walmart just down the street.

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