Police: Mom uses eight-year-old to help steal children’s clothing

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DES PERES, MO (KTVI) - An eight-year-old boy was instructed by his mother to steal hundreds of dollars worth of children’s clothing from a department store, the Des Peres Police Department said Thursday.

"He had no idea what he was doing. Just following his mother's orders,” Des Peres Detective Marshall Broughton said.

Broughton said 25-year-old Brianna Cherise Boykins of St. Louis was using her son to shuttle shopping bags full of stolen children’s merchandise from a Macy’s fitting room to his mother’s car, parked in the West County Center garage. The boy walked alone to the garage and placed the bags in his mother’s car trunk.

Authorities said the boy stole nearly $800 worth of jeans, sweatpants, and t-shirts. The mother was flagged by loss prevention officers when they noticed she unsuccessfully tried to return stolen items. Her second line of defense, police said, was to instruct her little boy to steal.

"This is the first that I've seen that they've actually used them in the commission of a crime,” Broughton said. "He came up with the car keys, and said, 'Hey, I put the stuff in the car,' telling his mother he had done what she had asked. He didn't realize—I don't think—that he was involved in a theft."

Boykins was charged with felony stealing.