A woman in Logan, Ohio, was ordered by a judge to write a letter to her daughters explaining why stealing was wrong after she forced them to help her shoplift from a local Walmart.
Hallie Thomas, 36, and her daughters were seen by surveillance cameras entering the store on February 17th dressed in dark colored coats. When they left, they were wearing pink coats that reportedly had stolen items stashed underneath them. On March 5th, cameras caught them concealing items in a clothes hamper. When they attempted to the leave the store, police stopped them.
According to the Logan Daily, Thomas initially denied knowing that her daughters had stolen anything. She was charged with petty theft, contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child and child endangerment.
Thomas later admitted to making her daughters steal, and a plea agreement allowed all the charges to be dropped in exchange for a guilty plea. The deal found the mother guilty of one count of petty theft and one count of child endangerment.
“Your honor, I asked for the jail time because this is an unusual case with children being involved,” Logan City Law Director Jonah Saving said in court. “Hopefully with her sentence, she will have time to think about her actions and she can get help.”
Hocking County Judge Fred Moses sentenced Thomas to 10 days in jail and ordered that she pay a $300 fine per charge, serve two years of community service, abstain from drugs and alcohol and submit to screenings, stay away from Walmart and write a letter to her daughters explaining what she did and why stealing is wrong.
“I hope you learn from this,” Moses said. “You really need help. While in the community corrections program, make sure you learn from this and that you cannot involve your children.”
Thomas’ attorney Don Kline told the judge that Thomas was sorry for what she did.
“Your honor, my client is 36-years-old and has family support here in the courtroom,” Kline said. “She accepts full responsibility for her actions and is remorseful. It’s an unfortunate circumstance.”