Police Say Shoplifting Parent Left Two Kids at Wal-Mart - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Police Say Shoplifting Parent Left Two Kids at Wal-Mart



    Police: Shoplifting Parent Left Children at Wal-Mart

    Police say Monica Leann Meza, 32, left her children behind when she fled a Dallas Wal-Mart after shoplifting. She was arrested about an hour later when she returned to the store for her children. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013)

    Police said a woman suspected of shoplifting left behind two children at a Dallas Wal-Mart on Monday while fleeing the store.

    According to police reports, Monica Leann Meza, 32, stole DVDs, cups, sweaters, shoes, cans of Starbucks coffee and a hairbrush before trying to escape police in a silver Buick.

    Meza allegedly left two children at the store -- a 3-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl -- while she fled in the vehicle.

    Dallas police arrested her when she returned to the store approximately one hour after fleeing to pick up her children.

    According to police reports, Meza was caught in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart on Samuell Road, and all the items were returned to the store.

    Records showed that Dallas police filed four total reports, one on the alleged shoplifting, one on the alleged evading arrest in a motor vehicle and two reports of child abandonment.

    A neighbor of Meza's described her as a friend and said news of the arrest came as a surprise.

    "It's a shock because she's -- her character, that doesn't fit her," said Joy Swanson, who added that her 12-year-old daughter is friends with Meza's oldest child.

    "She's a nice lady, and she's just a good mom," Swanson said.

    The two children Meza is accused of abandoning are now in foster care, according to Texas Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.

    The agency is investigating the incident in conjunction with Dallas police. The children appear to be in good health, and CPS has had no prior involvement with Meza or her children, Gonzales said Tuesday.