In response to a growing trend of women shoplifting with their young children in tow, NJ police have instituted a new policy of reporting cases to Child Protection and Permanency, a state agency with the power to remove children from harmful family situations.
This new policy comes in the wake of two separate instances of women bringing children with them to a JCPenney store in Wayne, NJ in the past week, stealing merchandise worth more than $1,000.
In the most recent case, Joaly Pena, 26, was detained by security officers with her young daughter, accused of shoplifting at the JCPenney store. Pena was arrested by Officer Adrian Sulejmani, who took her and her daughter to police headquarters where the young girl was removed from the booking area so she would not see her mother processed for theft-related offenses. Pena was issued a summons and the complaint was said to be forwarded to the state child protection agency.
In another recent case, an unidentified woman committed a strong-arm robbery at the Wayne JCPenney, allegedly fighting with a security guard while directing a group of small children as they stole more than $1,300 worth of items from the store. The woman used the children’s backpacks to hide the stolen merchandise.
“We get the sense these women feel that if they bring children with them, the cops will go easier on them when they are caught; and maybe they are right, maybe we have been leaning in that direction,” said Detective Capt. Laurence Martin of the Wayne police department. “But now, we’re putting our foot down – we’re reporting these cases to the Division of Youth and Family Services” — the state agency that is now known as Child Protection and Permanency.
Shoplifting is one of the most common crimes that people are arrested for in New Jersey. Convicted shoplifters could not only face a fine, jail time, or a criminal record, but it could also affect your immigration status.
“We have to do something to protect these children from growing into this life,” Detective Martin said. Similar to adult charges, a juvenile can also be charged with shoplifting under New Jersey law. Juveniles can face detention, fines and community service in certain circumstances.
How Can The Rosenblum Law Firm Help?
Retail stores are armed with high tech video surveillance cameras, security guards and lost prevention agents to protect their merchandise. It is important that you have a skilled defense attorney on your side.
If you or a loved one is charged with shoplifting in New Jersey, call the Rosenblum Law Firm at 888-815-3649 for a free consultation with our experienced criminal defense attorneys.