BATAVIA, NY - There's a surprising twist to the story that we told you yesterday about the Batavia mom who punished her son for stealing by making him wear an embarrassing sign in public.
It turns out that his mom, Kelly
Howell, is herself on probation for a shoplifting incident that happened
around Christmastime in 2011.
Howell and a former associate were
charged with petit larceny and conspiracy when they were caught stealing
from a Walmart store in Batavia. Howell was also charged with
endangering the welfare of a child for hiding some of the stolen items
in her baby's stroller.
She says she was sentenced to three
years of probation and ordered to attend an anti-shoplifting course.
About six months later, says Howell, she caught her son, who's now eight
years old, stealing from a store. She told him her story in an attempt
to dissuage him from a life of crime.
But apparently that wasn't enough to discourage his errant ways, because she later caught him stealing from family members.
Howell says she resorted to shaming him with the sign because nothing else seems to have worked.