The twice-a-week Police Reports published in Wauwatosa Patch seldom lack for instances of retail theft at Mayfair Mall. Most rate only a line or two in the blotter.
But now and then, some seem to call out for special attention, such as the two that follow.
Parents: At what age should you stop using your kids as hiding places?
We begin with a woman who, with winter coming on, went to the mall to shop for her two children, their young cousin, and her brother, who, she would later tell police, needed a wardrobe update because he had just gotten out of jail.
She didn't intend to pay, according to police reports and a criminal complaint. She did, however, want to make sure the kids' clothes fit.
Latasha N. Alphonse, 24, was charged Wednesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of felony retail theft. If convicted, she faces up to 3½ years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
According to the reports:
Around p.m. Saturday, Alphonse went to Macy’s in Mayfair Mall. She had the three children with her: her 2-year-old son, 3-year-old daughter and their 8-year-old male cousin, and she was pushing a stroller with the youngest child in it.
Going to the children’s section, Alphonse selected several children’s winter coats and took them to a fitting room, along with the kids, the reports said. When they came out, all three children were wearing their new coats.
Alphonse was being watched, and a security officer told police he found sales tags littering the fitting room, but not any security sensors.
Alphonse set off the security alarm when she left the store and was stopped. Police noticed a large bulge in the 8-year-old boy’s pants leg and found a stolen men’s shirt stashed there. Alphonse then produced another men’s shirt from behind her back and announced that there was more in the stroller, under her youngest.
In total, she had six children’s coats, two pairs of pants, three casual shirts, four T-shirts and two hats, all together worth $1,676.50 retail.
Alphonse would tell police in a statement that she felt bad about introducing the 8-year-old to thievery, but she thought her own children were too young to know what was going on and wouldn't be affected by it.
It is unknown whether she rethought that when police told her to contact a relative to pick up her children because she was going to jail.
It didn't say what drug he had been on
Our second criminal mastermind couldn't wait to reset his probationary clock.
At 12:13 p.m. Friday, a 19-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for theft from the Buckle store at Mayfair Mall after he was seen concealing merchandise, fled from the mall and was picked up nearby by Wauwatosa police based on his description.
Police found the ill-gotten goods on him. They also found that he was on probation for felony drug dealing, so they took him to the station instead of just ticketing him at the Mayfair booking room.
There, they called his probation officer, who told them that he had just met with the 19-year-old at 11 a.m. to collect a urine sample for drug-testing. He issued an “order to detain” and the suspect was taken to the Milwaukee County Jail.
He was also banned from the mall for five years.