LAKELAND (FOX 13) - Investigators said a family's theft ring, using a young boy to steal, is now connected to two cases.
Earlier this week, video surfaced of a boy running away after police said he stole the handbag of a Walmart shopper in a motorized cart.
The video showed him running from the store and into the parking lot, followed by a woman and a man police said were his parents. The adults apparently told the woman they would catch the little thief, but actually followed him out to the family's vehicle, where they drove off together.
Putting two and two together, Lakeland police realized surveillance video from another incident matched the scenario. When they watched the tape again, it appeared to be the same family.
Video from a Dollar Tree store, turned over to officers more than two months ago, showed the same group entering the store on North Socrum Loop Road. A boy was seen taking a wallet from another shopper's cart, passing it to the woman presumed to be his mother, and taking off.
"It's awful," the victim, Luz Diaz Gonzalez told FOX 13 News. "Is that what parents are teaching their kids? What are they going to become?"
Officers were still trying to identify and track down the two adults and their young accomplace.