Man Says He's Out $500 After Mother-Child Act Struck Inside Hartsdale Pizza Place

HARTSDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Westchester County are looking for two suspects in an unusual robbery: both are female; one, though, is a preschooler.

As suspects go, they are an unlikely couple: a young woman, about 5-foot-6, and a very young child, who is much shorter. They were seen on surveillance video inside a pizza place on South Central Avenue in Hartsdale.

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Town of Greenburgh police believe the woman and child lifted a wallet full of cash. The wallet appears to be seen in the adult’s hands, delivered by the child.

Local residents were shocked.

“As a mom I would never teach my child, any kid, that kind of lesson,” Hartsdale resident Cecelia Seo told CBS 2’s Lou Young.

The incident happened last Tuesday afternoon. The employees at the pizza place were taking a break at one of the tables when a woman and child walked in and ordered two slices and a soda. Oscar Fernandez jumped up to wait on her, which is ironic because police believe she was there to help herself.

“I just forgot about the wallet and everything and left it on the table because it was our break,” Fernandez said.

The victim is seen on video with his back to the counter and the woman is speaking to the child, who is just off camera where the wallet is.

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The girl brings the wallet to the woman. She examines it, sees the cash, and then returns the wallet to the child, saying something to her. And when the two leave with their pizza the wallet is nowhere in sight.

“She had plenty of opportunity to inform someone she found a wallet,” Greenburgh Police Det. Nicholas Parikka said. “We’re talking about additional crimes of endangering the welfare of a child including the theft of the wallet and the money.”

“That was my pay. That was my pay for the week. I can’t even imagine my little daughter doing something like that. It’s unbelievable,” Fernandez said.

Police said they think the girl is 3 or 4 years old. They’re hoping someone recognizes the woman.

Fernandez said he’s out more than $500, a debit card, a credit card and his driver’s license. He said he’d be happy just to get the wallet back.

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