Police: Thief left behind baby

Aug. 3, 2010 at 4:36 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said they arrested a woman who allegedly stole merchandise from a JCPenney store and left behind her purse and a 10-month-old.

Investigators said Crystal Whitaker, 23, of Lake Park and a second woman took $256 worth of merchandise from the junior department at the JCPenney in West Palm Beach and pursuing employees discovered the bag of items abandoned outside along with Whitaker's purse and a 10-month-old child, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday.

The Florida Department of Children and Families came to the store to pick up the 10-month-old, whose relation to Whitaker was unclear, police said.

Whitaker was arrested and charged with child abuse without great harm, child neglect without causing great harm, contributing to the delinquency of a dependent and theft. She was released on her own recognizance.

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