Police in California are on the hunt for a man they are calling a "parent of the year," who is suspected of using a girl to steal from Dollar General stores all over Stanislaus County.
“The suspect has stooped so low, that he has been using the young child to help him conceal and steal items,” the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office said in a statement this week, also posting a surveillance photo of the man after an alleged theft from a Dollar General in Keyes. They sarcastically added that “we have a parent of the year award waiting for him.”
The suspect allegedly stole hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise during at least five trips to the store over the past few months, according to the Modesto Bee in Modesto, California.
During the most recent theft, the man was caught in the act and chased out of the store by its manager.
Stanislaus County Sheriff's Sgt. Royjinder Singh told Your Central Valley in Fresno that the suspect would strategically place items on his body so that the girl could help conceal them.
By Tuesday, police received calls from other managers of Dollar Generals in the county - in Denair, Turlock and Empire - who recognized the man in the photo. They all said he used the girl to steal from their stores as well, reports the Modesto Bee.
“We want to make sure the welfare of the child is OK. Are there other children that are in the care and custody of this person?" Singh told Your Central Valley.
Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call Singh at 209-226-3923 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-60-CRIME(27463) or (209) 521-4636. All callers will remain anonymous.
Police haven't described what the parent of the year award will look like but we have a feeling it may involve a pair of handcuffs and a photo shoot.
[Photo: Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department]