Babysitter Uses Kids For Shoplifting Spree

Elaina West

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (970 WFLA) - A Polk County woman is accused of turning a babysitting job into a shoplifting clinic.

Winter Haven police said Elaina West, 29, was caught on surveillance video inside the Walmart store on Cypress Gardens Blvd. using kids under her care to load up her shopping cart.

A 14-year old girl and an eleven year old boy were helping West place TV's and other electronics into the cart, police said.

West wheeled her cart through the outdoor lawn and garden center without paying for the items, and was confronted in the parking lot by a theft control officer.

A witness and one of the kids told investigators that West tried to run over the theft control officer with her car, before getting out and trying to escape on foot.

She was taken into custody a short time later.

West is charged with grand theft, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, contributing to the deliquency of a minor, and driving without a valid license.

photo credit: Winter Haven Police Department

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