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Police: Woman charged with retail fraud had kids in car

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A Pontiac woman accused of stealing from a Five Below store in Bloomfield Township had her children in the car when she allegedly went shopping without paying, police say.

On June 21, about 8:15 p.m., a store employee called 911 and told Bloomfield Township police that two women were walking the store on the 2100 block of South Telegraph, and one was allegedly hiding goods.

Officers arrived in time to see the two women leave the store and get into a red Chevy. Three children, ages 15, 11, and 2, were in the back seat, police say.

After being interviewed by the officers, police say Lanita Mitchell, 38, “handed over a bag of merchandise that she said she stole from Five Below. The merchandise included books, toys and speakers, valued at over $50.”

Mitchell, police say, took the blame for the entire incident, which she said was done without the other woman’s knowledge, and was arrested for retail fraud. She was arraigned on a charge of retail fraud, second degree, at the 48th District Court, and given a bond of $10,000 or 10 percent. According to the Oakland County Jail website, Mitchell has been in county custody since June 22. She is due back in court on July 5 at 8:45 a.m.

In 2007, Mitchell had two convictions for felony retail fraud, police say.

jdickson@detroitnews.com