Mother allegedly recruits son's aid in Atoka liquor store theft - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Mother allegedly recruits son's aid in Atoka liquor store theft

Investigators say a mother and son duo stole alcohol from a liquor store in the town of Atoka.

Surveillance video shows it all - a mother with her 13-year-old son, along with two other unknown men, inside the Spirits of Atoka liquor store. Atoka police investigator Chris Ellwood said the two men kept the cashier busy while the mother and her son stole spirits.

"The alcohol they took was above 80 proof, and it looks like...their alcohol was pre-selected," Ellwood said. "In other words, these are the brands they wanted. So it wasn't a matter of convenience. It looks like an operation."

Melissa Rodriguez was charged with theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Investigators said she used her 13-year-old to help in the hefty heist.

Tuesday afternoon, Rodriguez claimed she did not help her son steal any alcohol.

Surveillance video shows the young man leave the store without a jacket.  He then re-enters the store with a heavy coat - a coat police believe was used to hold booze. 

"The thicker the jacket, the more product you can hold, so its unbelievable. We're really astonished by the crime," Ellwood said.

Atoka Police said just a few days after the juvenile stole items from the liquor store, he was also responsible and charged in a purse snatching in Munford.

Investigators still need the public's help in finding the two men involved in this case. They've been given several leads, but haven't made any arrests.   

If you can help identify the men connected to this case, call Atoka Police at 901-837-5302.

Click here to send an email to Justin Hanson.

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