California police are still searching for a mother who, they say, abandoned her 10-year-old daughter after attempting to use her in a shoplifting attempt at a California Safeway store.
The police department in Morgan Hill, Calif. is offering a $50,000 warrant for Marcy Keelin, accused of burglary and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Police say at around 5 p.m. last Wednesday, Keelin took her daughter grocery shopping, filling the cart with various items including a 24-pack of beer. Instead of paying at the register, they say Keelin instructed her daughter to stand with the cart by the exit doors while she pulled up the car.
"The mother knew what was going on and just absolutely abandoned the daughter," Sgt. Troy Hoefling told ABC's San Francisco station KGO-TV. "She left her there on purpose, not willing to get in trouble herself to sacrifice her daughter for her own gain."
According to officials, the daughter was instructed to push the cart out of the store once she saw her mother's car. Safeway employees confronted her before she could do so, and her mother then fled the scene.
"It could be she felt it'd be easier for the child to get away with it than her," Capt. Jerry Neumayer of the Morgan Hill Police Department told ABC News.
According to KGO, Keelin called her daughter's cellphone and a policeman answered, urging her to make a statement and pick up her daughter. She refused. Police have been unable to locate her.
"She's only been here for a couple of months so there is a great chance she could be heading back to Wyoming," Capt. Neumayer told ABC News.
Two weeks before, police say Keelin had been caught on surveillance video with her daughter committing the same crime at the same Safeway with a cart full of groceries.
"Maybe she thought in her mind, we did it once, maybe we can get away with it again," said Neumayer. The 10-year-old is now with her grandmother and, according to Neumayer, is not being charged. Police said they see her as a victim in this case.
Police say Keelin is white, 5-foot-11, weighs 200 lbs. and drives a Green Ford Explorer with Wyoming license plates 4-11118. Anyone with information in this case is urged to call Morgan Hill Police Detective Scott Martin at 408-779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at 408-947-STOP (7867).