A Florida woman was arrested on theft and aggravated battery after police said she stole about $1,000 worth of merchandise from a Winter Haven Walmart and allegedly tried to run down a police officer, all while babysitting two children.
According to WFLA, Walmart customers watched 29-year-old Elaina West and the two kids pick out televisions and electronics. They then allegedly walked out of the store without paying.
“She had the children assist her filling up the buggies with large electronic items to the tune of almost $1000 worth, then proceeded out of the Garden Center without any attempt to pay,” Winter Haven Police spokesperson Jamie Brown told WFLA.
An officer had ordered West to stop while in the Walmart parking lot. The officer claimed West screamed “Move!” and hit the gas. One of the kids was inside the car, the other was standing in the parking lot when she tried to get away.
“She had the young boy in the vehicle, but she left the girl outside of the vehicle. She attempted to leave, pushing our officer, who was outside of the car, approximately four to five feet,” Brown said.
The girl told police she did not want to go to the store, but West threatened to slap her if she did not help with the theft.
The woman was previously arrested for allegedly stealing a swimming pool at a different Walmart in April. In a report by the Ledger, West blamed her April theft on her drug habit.
[Polk County Jail]