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Woman Charged after Allegedly Encouraging Child to Steal

A Racine woman is facing several misdemeanor charges after allegedly encouraging a 9-year-old boy to steal clothing from Kohl’s department store. Melissa A. Padilla, 39, of the 1700 block of Franklin Street in Racine, is charged with two counts of retail theft, two counts of bail jumping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, all misdemeanors.

According to the criminal complaint, Padilla and two young boys went to Kohl’s on June 13. The older boy, 9, picked out some clothes that he wanted and asked Padilla to buy them for him. Because, she reportedly said, she was out of work and having financial difficulties, she told him to put the clothes on in the fitting room underneath what he was already wearing and walk out in them.

A Kohl’s loss prevention officer noticed suspicious behavior and followed Padilla and the boys, but she wasn’t able to stop them. She did note the license plate of the vehicle they left in… The Journal Times

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