Cops: Teen shoplifter left baby outside store

Posted by Sheli Muniz - email

WEST PALM BEACH (WFLX) - A suspected shoplifter was charged with theft and child neglect after she reportedly left her baby behind at a West Palm Beach department store.

Police report that Crystal Whitaker, 23, and a 16-year-old girl went into a JCPenney dressing room Friday and came out with $256 worth of merchandise hidden in a shopping bag. Police say employees tried to stop the women, but they ran outside too quickly.

Outside, employees found the 10-month-old child, all the stolen merchandise and Whitaker's purse and identification. The teen and the infant were taken back in the store, and authorities tracked down Whitaker.

The Florida Department of Children and Families took the infant.

Whitaker was arrested and later released on her own recognizance.

Copyright 2010 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.