Suspects arrested in using kids to help in Fort Myers crime

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Suspects arrested in using kids to help in Fort Myers crime

By FOX 4 Staff. CREATED Jul 25, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul 25, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The two women who used children to help them commit a crime have been arrested and taken to the Lee County Jail.

25-year-old Shanice Stewart and Shanice Atkins were arrested Friday afternoon.

Over the course of the last 24 hours, more than 50 tips were received through Crime Stoppers, which led to the identification last night of Shanice Stewart as the primary suspect. 

Friday afternoon, as a result of one of those tips, Shanice Stewart and her accomplice, Shawnice Adkins  were both apprehended and charged with grand theft.  

Both women were taken into custody without incident

According to deputies Stewart and Atkins along with  five young children entered the Gymboree store at 20350 Summerlin Road to go shopping.

When they came to the counter one of the women started speaking with employees while one of the kids swiped a wallet left on the counter.

Once the wallet was in hand the group quickly left the store in a white vehicle.  The victim's phone was also taken but was quickly found along the road near Tanger Outlets.

Within an hour, credit cards left in the wallet were used twice at Pier One Imports for charges of more than $200, as well as the Foot Locker at the Edison Mall buying another $400 in goods.

When they tried to a third purchase of about $600 in shoes the card was declined as the victim had reported the credit cards as stolen.

“Crime Stoppers sincerely appreciates the outpouring of information from the community regarding this case,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. 

“This case was a perfect example of the community stepping up to the plate and doing their part in helping identify criminals and removing them from our streets.”