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Cops collar kiddie criminals

Police say moms orchestrated backroom burglaries in Manteca stores

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POSTED September 3, 2012 11:03 p.m.

A burglary team of three Stockton women and two children were stopped in their tracks last week by Manteca Police officers Bob Anderson and Dave Brown.

The five are being charged in the thefts of wallets, credit cards and cell phones from backroom offices in various Manteca stores. 

Officers said the women distracted store personnel over a two-day period while a 7-year-old boy was sent discretely into the back offices and break rooms where he allegedly ransacked any purses he could find for their valuables. 

At one store officers said he was caught on a video surveillance camera handing the wallets and cell phones over to an older boy who took them out to a blue Chrysler 300 in the parking lot. When the store staff confronted the mother, she reportedly became confrontational with them.

They had allegedly collected some six cell phones and five wallets with another 16 cell phones and identification cards found inside their vehicle. 

The thefts reportedly started a week ago Monday at Amon Gifts Boutique at 1140 North Main Street where the women and children were also caught on a video with store clerks getting the license number of the car.

Officer Brown said he did a check on the car and subsequently came up with a photograph tying one of the women into the thefts. He developed a photo lineup and the store staffers identified the woman as being one of the three responsibles who was in their store.

Community Service Officer Barbara Hall had a similar case the next day that tied the women into more activity in Manteca. She had found that there had been activity on a card taken from the Old Navy store in the Kohl’s Shopping Center. 

Within 20 minutes officers tracked the women to Minor Mart Liquors on West Yosemite Avenue where officers said they found them busy distracting the clerk as the younger boy came out of the back room with more stolen items.

Another store that reported thefts from their office was Styles For Less in the Wal-Mart Shopping Center on South Main Street along with an appliance store. The 7-year-old was taken to Mary Graham Hall in Stockton and later released to the custody of his grandmother. One of the women was released on her own recognizance and the second spent a short time in county jail.

The mother of the two boys, Pearl Shanay Littlejohn, 31, of Stockton had an additional “no bail” warrant for her arrest out of San Bernardino.  She is scheduled to appear in the Manteca Branch of the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court at 1:25 p.m. today. The others are expected to appear at the same time before the judge in Manteca.

Littlejohn has been charged with conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, cruelty to a child by inflicting injury, burglary, receiving known stolen property, petty theft with prior jail and driving with a license suspended for reckless driving.

The other two Stockton women were reportedly charged with conspiracy, burglary and receiving stolen property.

The officers said they have received several calls from store owners in Stockton who believe they, too, have been victimized by the women.

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