By Phil Benson
Phoenix, AZ (KPHO ) -- A Phoenix mother was arrested Sunday on charges of shoplifting and child abuse after she allegedly placed cans of formula in a purse and diaper bag and had her 12-year-old son carry them out of the store, police said.
The incident happened at a Walmart store at 5250 W. Indian School Road just after 3:30 p.m., officers said.
Gabrielle Fisher's son had his younger brother with him and they both left the store without any food or water or money for a bus, a court document stated.
Fisher left the store separately without any attempt to obtain help from store employees or officers to find her children, according to court paperwork.
Officers found the boy and his baby brother sitting at a bus stop near the store. The 12-year-old admitted that there was formula inside the purse and diaper bag that had not been paid for, according to a probable cause statement.
Police escorted the boy back into the store in an effort to locate his mother.
Officers from the Glendale Police Department were sent to an address provided by the child where they live with Fisher and her boyfriend.
The boyfriend at first denied Fisher was in the house but when officers mentioned Child Protective Services, she came out of hiding and was arrested, according to police.
She was taken to the Maryvale Police Station for processing. Fisher admitted she was in the store with the intention of stealing formula because she claimed she had no milk for her baby, court paperwork stated.
Fisher also admitted giving the formula to the boy and telling him to leave the store.
Police said Fisher told them she tried looking for the child and admitted she didn't ask for help from officers at the store.
Authorities noted that the intersection at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road is a high crime area with numerous motor vehicle collisions, putting pedestrians at risk.
Fisher was booked into jail on one count of shoplifting, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, two counts of endangering the life and health of a minor and one count of child abuse.