'Hide your money. Hide your clothes. Hide everything. Cuz I’m A Thief'

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POSTED: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 11:30am

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 8:36am

When a 13-year-old girl was caught shoplifting a shirt in Marrero, the mother decided she could wear her crime on her sleeve.

Danaka Walker said she has taught her kids early on to never steal and never lie.

However, when the youngest of her four children was caught shoplifting a $10 dollar shirt about a week ago, the mother decided to give her a different shirt to wear.

When Aaroneisha Celestin walks out of her house from now on, her mother told her she will have to wear a neon green shirt to alert the public of her wrongdoing.

The Seventh-grader's shirt reads, “Hide your money. Hide your clothes. Hide everything. ‘Cuz I’m A Thief.’”

“I feel like if you're going to embarrass me by stealing, I’m gonna show you what it’s like to be embarrassed. Everybody's gonna know that you stole,” Walker said. “I work too hard for her to steal, and I’m not gonna have no thief living with me. I refuse to have a thief living with me.”

Walker made the shirt the day after Celestin was caught shoplifting at the Oakwood Shopping Center on the Westbank. Walker said she was sick to her stomach, picking up her daughter at the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Detention Center in Harvey.

“Even though it's her first offense, I want to make sure it’s her last,” Walker said. “I don't want to ever go back and have to go pick up my child from jail.”

While the embarrassment might be considered strict, her daughter accepts the punishment.

Celestin said she is embarrassed, but understands the punishment is out of love.

“Sorry. Sorry for my mama and everybody else I hurt,” Celestin told WDSU.

Celstin’s father was killed in 2006. Walker is a single mother of four and said she has no choice but to practice tough love.

Walker said Celestin will have to wear the shirt until the court proceedings are over.

Celestin is waiting on a court date, but Walker said she doesn’t want leniency from the judge.

The mother said she doesn’t want her daughter put in jail but wants to make sure Celestin learned her lesson.

“Every day you look at the news, somebody's getting killed. Somebody’s going to jail. Even at schools now, it's always something. I don't want my children to be in that statistic. I’m not, I can't,” Walker said.

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