Police claim that a 38-Year-old Morgan Hill woman went shopping with her 10-year-old daughter at a grocery store last week, and then fled from the store when staff confronted the young girl. Police claim that the mother and daughter had nearly filled a grocery car and planned to leave the store without paying. Law enforcement accuses the woman of directing her daughter to wait near the front door with the groceries while the mother retrieved her car in the alleged shoplifting event.

However, when staff from the store walked out to confront the girl, the mother is accused of leaving her daughter behind. Police claim that the mother and daughter were previously successful in a similar theft crime roughly two weeks earlier.

After the most recent allegations, authorities say that they were able to contact the woman on the telephone and learned the woman was traveling with her 11-month-old son. Law enforcement issued an alert for an endangered and missing child. A deputy in Nevada reportedly found a car matching the description of the woman's SUV outside a hotel in Fernley, Nevada.

Deputies located a room in the hotel where they believe the woman was staying. She was arrested Friday in Nevada and held in jail pending extradition to California to face burglary and child endangerment charges. Child protective services officials are reportedly evaluating whether the children's grandmother can take care of the two children.

It is important to note that allegations held by prosecutors remain mere allegations unless and until the state can provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal court. It is also noteworthy to remember that newspaper accounts are often generated by the government and may not include all the facts. Anyone accused of a California theft crime in the Santa Cruz area should consider speaking with a criminal defense lawyer to learn what defenses may be available to the state's allegations.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Mom in botched shoplifting case arrested," Matthai Kuruvila, Sept. 29, 2012