Police: Mom used kids to help her shoplift

- Clearwater police said 28-year-old Gabriela Perez-Chavez's Target run wasn't your usual back-to-school shopping trip. 

"She's just going about picking out items like she's on a regular shopping trip," said Rob Shaw. 

Police said she used her children, ages 3 and 7, to help her shoplift. 

"At some point, she goes to another part of the store. Hiding some items in the backpacks and under the stroller. She's just using them, 100 percent, for them to carry out her crime," said Shaw. 

When she left Target, Clearwater police were waiting. Inside those backpacks and stroller, officers found $500 worth of stolen goods. 

"There were a lot of clothes, school supplies items, stuffed animals, a variety of things," said Shaw. 

Perez-Chavez was taken to jail. Her children went home with a relative. Parents going back-to-school shopping can't understand why anyone would use their own children to commit a crime. 

"That's not an example to teach anybody," said one parent named Shelly. 

Perez-Chavez appeared in court. A judge set her bond at $2,000. She's also on an immigration hold.  Her decision has many shaking their heads in disbelief. 

"For people to do that is just not teaching our world anything," said a parent. 

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Police: Mom used kids to help her shoplift
  • Florida Poly hopes to change future of transportation with new research center
  • Power outage reported at Busch Gardens
  • Three shoplifters stole from Dillard's in Wesley Chapel, deputies say
  • Raccoon breaks into Pinellas County woman's home
  • Tampa's flood control canal gets 50-year checkup
  • Brooksville woman charged with animal cruelty after nearly 90 animals seized
  • Missing Manatee Co. K9 found safe
  • For one day, half of your Chipotle purchase will be donated to All Children's
  • Gov. Scott: Additional $4 million for counties impacted by red tide