Glendale mother accused of using son to shoplift

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A Glendale mother has been arrested, accused of forcing her 12-year-old son to shoplift formula for his baby brother.

Gabrielle Fisher faces charges of child abuse, shoplifting, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and endangering the life/health of a minor.

According to the police report, witnesses at the Walmart at 51st Avenue and Indian School say that they saw Fisher taking items from the shelves, hiding them in her diaper bag and purse, then handing the diaper bag and purse to her 12-year-old son. Her one-year-old son was also with them.

Police say Fisher sent her boys outside, then disappeared, leaving her 12-year-old and one-year-old sons to fend for themselves.

More than an hour later, police found the boys alone, siitting at a bus stop. Fisher was nowhere in the area.

"A 12-year-old with a one-and-a-half-year-old sibling carrying some bags of stolen items.  Now their home is a mile, mile and a half away and she made no report or effort to go looking for them. Once again, that's part of what concerned us," said Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department.

Police went to her home, where at first they were told by Fisher's boyfriend that she was not at home. But according to court documents, when officers mentioned CPS, Fisher then "came out of hiding from inside the house" and was arrested.

Police say she "admitted that she was in the store with the intention of stealing formula, as she had no milk for her baby. According to court documents, she admitted to giving the bags containing the formula to her son, then told him to leave the store.

Police say Fisher also admitted that she only looked for her boys a short period of time when she couldn't find them, but did not ask for help from security officers or store employees. Police say she also did not report the children missing.

The children are now in the custody of CPS.