2 Women Charged with Using Children to Conceal Stolen Merchandise

2 women arrested in Melbourne, Florida.
2 women arrested in Melbourne, Florida.

MELBOURNE – Two Brevard County women were charged with Contributing to Delinquency of Children among other charges.

On Sunday, December 9, 2018, two women were arrested at the Melbourne Walmart, located at 8500 N Wickham Rd after a loss prevention officer observed them traveling throughout the store selecting merchandise and concealing it into purses and Walmart bags.

Patricia Janet Erickson, 21, of Palm Bay was charged with Grand Theft Shoplifting, Contributing to Delinquency of Child (2), Resisting recovery of Merchandise, Driving while Lic Susp with Knowledge 1st Offense and Failure to Furnish Proof of Insurance. Erickson was also arrested in August after attacking a 7-Eleven manager after her boyfriend was fired.

Amber Pearce, 18, of Miami, was charged with Grand theft shoplifting, Contributing to Delinquency of Child (2), and Resist Arrest/Recovery of Property.

The loss prevention officer observed Erickson and Pearce walk past the last point of sale in the automotive department of the store, according to reports.

The loss prevention officer advised that she made an attempt to stop the defendants and recover the property after they exited the store. They continued to evade her authority as the loss protection officer of Wal-Mart, the affidavit stated.

The defendant’s then entered into a vehicle. When the responding deputy saw the vehicle in aisle 2 of the Wal-Mart parking lot and performed a traffic stop.

The stop was based on reasonable suspicion a traffic violation i.e. the vehicle not being insured, registered owner suspended and Grand Theft had been committed. Upon stopping the vehicle, the deputy was able to locate the merchandise that had been stolen, according to reports.

The loss prevention officer was able to provide receipts that listed the total value of all the items stolen. The total value stolen was $604.61. In addition, she observed Erickson and Pearce use two small children to help conceal the stolen items, according to reports.

According to the Brevard County Clerk of Courts website Erickson is on misdemeanor probation for Battery. These new criminal charges are a violation of her probation.

Both women were taken to the Brevard County jail. Erickson’s bond is set at $21,000 and Pearce’s $2,500.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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Scott Lee travels between Brevard County and Indian River County and has been writing for various publications for approximately 30 years. Lee also writes for Sebastian Daily covering Vero Beach and Florida news. Currently, he covers Palm Bay, West Melbourne, and the Melbourne area.
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