Theft suspect spent night in store with 3 children, police say - abc27 WHTM

Theft suspect spent night in store with 3 children, police say

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Heather Lynn Defreitas Heather Lynn Defreitas

A Lancaster woman spent the night in a Walmart with her three young children before she walked out this morning with more than $500 in stolen clothing and other merchandise, police said.

Heather Lynn Defreitas, 40, had been in the store with the children from 10:30 p.m. until her arrest at 6:14 a.m., according to East Lampeter Township police.

The children - ages 3, 6 and 7 - had spent most of the nearly eight hours sleeping in a shopping cart, police said.

"It's always unfortunate when children are involved," East Lampeter Police Lt. Robin Weaver said. "To spend the whole night in Walmart sleeping in a shopping cart is very unusual."

Defreitas was taken into custody by store security officers after she concealed $575.93 worth of merchandise in two large handbags and left the store without paying, police said.

She was charged with corruption of minors, plus a felony count of retail theft due to multiple prior shoplifting arrests, police said.

She was released after posting $500 bail.

The children were turned over to the custody of their father, police said.


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