Georgia police are looking for a man and woman who were caught on camera using four young girls to rob a local Walmart on the Fourth of July.
The man and woman can be seen on surveillance video using the four girls to load car batteries into the back of their white minivan on Wednesday. Police say the couple stole approximately 45 car batteries from an exterior storage area at a Walmart in Lilburn, GA.
Investigators have identified the male suspect as Dino Vlado, who they believe is the father of the girls, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He is being charged with theft by taking, four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and theft by deception.
“We are operating under the principle that they all came together and left together. They have the appearance of being a family,” Lilburn Police Capt. Scott Bennett told the AJC.
In the surveillance video obtained by the Lilburn Police, the male and female suspect used a sledge hammer to break the lock off the cage in the back of the Walmart. The adults and the young girls then loaded car batteries one-by-one into the back of the van, according to Lilburn Police.
“It is disheartening that children would be used in criminal activities such as this,” Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley said in a Facebook post.
Police told the AJC that they believe the couple was planning to resell the batteries for profit. A representative from Walmart’s loss prevention department estimated that each stolen battery was worth $74.88, the AJC reported.
Bennett said thefts like this are increasingly common as so many recycling centers are willing to pay for batteries, the AJC reported.
Vlado has an outstanding warrant for his involvement in a hit-and-run in Gwinnett County and was last seen in the nearby city of Sandy Springs, police say.
[Photo: Gwinnett County Sheriff]