Woman accused of shoplifting with 9-year-old daughter

Police say LaKeeasha Artis left daughter behind

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

BAYTOWN, Texas - Baytown police say a woman is behind bars after leaving her 9-year-old daughter behind after she stole more than $150 worth of merchandise from a Walmart.

"People steal all the time, you'd be surprised," said shopper Jordan Pridgeon. "But the leaving-your-kid part, that's crazy."

LaKeeasha Artis, 28, was booked into the Harris County Jail and held on a $3,000 bond. She made her first appearance Friday before a judge in magistrate court.

Police said she went into the Walmart on Garth Road, placed two cameras in her purse and gave the purse to her daughter.

When she went to get her SUV, police said she had the girl wait with the purse at the door.

When Artis saw a store loss prevention officer waiting for her, she reportedly jumped in her vehicle and took off.

Officers said she literally left her 9-year-old daughter -- now crying and in tears -- holding the bag.

"Sounds like the child needs to be with someone more responsible, that knows how to be a parent," said shopper and parent Kristen Collins. "It's pretty sad when you're teaching your child something wrong from a young age."

Artis eventually returned a short time later, where she was detained by police who had responded to the scene.

Other parents who shop at the Walmart are appalled by the accusations.

"You shouldn't be stealing in the first place, but you definitely don't leave your kid just there," said Jon Collins. "You don't just run off and leave them."

Walmart employees said the woman is a known shoplifter at the store. She's now charged with theft and endangering a child. Her 9-year-old daughter is now with her grandmother for the time being.

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