VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (CBS 2) — A mother and her daughters were arrested for family thievery on Long Island after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of clothes and jewelry.
Police said the brazen shoplifting mother enlisted her own children to help swindle and steal $2,500 of merchandise from the bustling JCPenney in the Green Acres Mall, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Cynthia Richardson, 49, was charged with grand larceny and endangering the welfare of children. Investigators said the 24-year-old daughter, Kizzy Polhill, helped her mother rip off massive amounts of clothing along with another teen daughter.
Police said the daughters stuffed top-end merchandise into shopping bags as their mother served as a lookout inside the store, and it was all caught on surveillance video.
All three were tailed by a loss prevention officer and held by security in the mall parking lot until Nassau County police arrived. They handcuffed Richardson and Polhill, while the teen was released to another family member.
JCPenney management said they were shocked that the family thought they could get away with it.
“We have plainclothes detectives, as well as covert cameras, located throughout the store,” manager Peter Ressa said.
Ressa said that, with the presence of security and their anti-theft technology, they never had a chance.
“In a building with over 100 cameras and multiple officers, not many people do,” he said.
Shoppers who spoke to CBS 2 were outraged.
“It makes me mad because I worked in retail,” Kevin Prothro said. “When stuff like that happens, shrinkage tends to happen, and [the] price goes up.”
“It’s pathetic that it’s their mom, I think that’s the worst part of it,” Julie Widman said. “It’s not even them by themselves. This is the role model they have.”
The mother and older daughter pleaded not guilty. As of early Thursday evening, they had not yet posted bail of $1,500 each.
Richardson denied that she was going to sell the merchandise, and at one point told her court-appointed lawyer that it was all a “big misunderstanding.”