Police: Mother trains children to help her steal from Memphis st - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police: Mother trains children to help her steal from Memphis stores

Precious Jones (Source: MPD) Precious Jones (Source: MPD)

A mother is accused of using her children to help her steal from several stores in Memphis.

Police said Precious Jones trained her three children, all under the age of 10, to distract employees while their mother stole cellphones.

Jones was picked out of a police lineup after store managers identified her.

Witnesses said it looked like the children had rehearsed what to do.

Police said it happened at four different stores around Memphis in a 30 day period before they caught on and arrested Jones.

Police said Jones would take her three children into the store. All four of them would split up and the children would start causing disturbances. 

For example, the children would knock over displays or open employee exits in the back of the stores.

While employees worked to round up the children and stop them from destroying the store, their mother would pocket cellphones.

The Metro PCS store at Raleigh Lagrange and Sycamore View was one of the businesses hit. Managers at three phone stores told police a woman with a child ripped them off. The manager of the Metro PCS said she suspected Jones had taken something from the store, so she took a picture of Jones and her car as she drove away.

T-Mobile stores on Poplar Avenue and Summer Avenue were also hit.

“It’s really bad, disgusting that they are getting-- how old is the kid? Eleven-- Yeah that's very bad, trying to teach your kid to steal," said Memphian Breiana Campbell.

Beginning on June 29, officers began investigating a rash of thefts at wireless stores throughout the Appling area.

“That's a very bad thing to teach your child to steal, that's just raising a generation to accept and encourage crime," Campbell said.

Police are still investigating if Jones is the mother of the children she was with.

Jones is charged with theft of property and more than a dozen counts of contributing the delinquency of a minor.

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