Mother speaks out after she and kids are caught shoplifting - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Mother speaks out after she and kids are caught on camera shoplifting

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Latoya McKeown (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office) Latoya McKeown (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)

JONEBSORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro mom looks to "clear her name" after she and four of her six children were accused of shoplifting at Sears on Monday.


"I mean, the kids, yeah, they are guilty of doing it," Latoya Mckeown told Region 8 News. However, she said she had no idea what was going on. "I didn't have anything to do with my kids stealing."

Mckeown said when she took her kids to Sears Monday, she gave them each a set amount of money to do so.

"They say they were going to look for me something for Valentine's. So I split up with them from me seeing what they were going to buy me," Mckeown explained.

However, when Jonesboro Police and Loss Prevention contacted Mckeown in the store, telling her they'd caught her children on camera shoplifting, she said she was shocked.

"I popped him," she explained, motioning to one of her sons, "when they found something on him, I popped him."

Then, Mckeown said she helped police locate the other items her daughter was accused of stealing.

"I searched her and I found another pair of earrings on her. She had one pair in her ear and another pair in her clothes," Mckeown said.

As for where her children picked up the habit, she said she believes they learned it from a former friend of hers. 

"I mean, I don't teach my kids to go into stores and pick up things. I give them money to buy their things," Mckeown said.

Mckeown said she spoke with one of her daughters about why she was shoplifting and was given this reasoning, "...she said she didn't wanna pay for it because it was too high but I told her she has to stop it."

For now, Mckeown said she can only think of one solution to the problem.

"From now on, I'm going to the store. I'm leaving them at home."

Mckeown herself was also charged in the incident. JPD charged her with misdemeanor shoplifting.

In court Wednesday, McKeown pleaded no contest. However, she said she plans to go to the judge to try and get the charges reduced, as she didn't understand what she was really pleading to. As for the kids, they're back in her custody, and said she hopes this is a lesson learned for them. 

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