Image: Suspected shoplifting
This photo taken from a surveillance videotape and released by the Bedford, N.H., Police Department on Wednesday shows a girl behind the jewelry counter Aug. 2 at the Consignment Gallery in Bedford, a woman thought to be the girl's mother and a boy, at left, thought to be the woman's son.
updated 8/9/2006 9:27:47 PM ET 2006-08-10T01:27:47

A woman turned herself in to police after a store surveillance video captured footage of two small children apparently sneaking behind display cases to steal thousands of dollars in jewelry, apparently on instructions from their mother and grandmother.

Police made the video public this week and started getting tips minutes after it first aired on local television.

Police Chief David Bailey said the woman, whom he declined to identify, was not arrested when she turned herself in Wednesday because there was no warrant. She promised to return when one was prepared, which Bailey said could happen by the end of the day.

The woman said she lives in the area and has four children, one age 14 and three under 10, Bailey said. All are believed to have been involved, he said.

The video, taken Aug. 2 at a store called the Consignment Gallery, shows one woman, possibly the children's mother, directing them to pocket certain items. An older woman, believed to be the grandmother, stuffs items down her shirt.

A woman who identified herself as the older woman on the video talked with WMUR-TV on Wednesday and denied stuffing merchandise down her shirt, saying that is where she carries her cell phone, money and other belongings.

She said she was shopping for a bed with her daughter when her grandchildren began to misbehave. The woman, whom the station did not identify, said her daughter was not stealing jewelry but rather trying to get her children to put back items they had taken.

"I was browsing around the store and the children were wild in the store," she said. "My granddaughter did take a ring, but we didn't realize it until we saw the news."

Detective Matt Fleming said more than $2,000 in jewelry was stolen from the store.

"It's pretty upsetting," Fleming said. "Watching the children methodically move through that jewelry area and take the items out for the mother is just astonishing."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Shoplifting family?


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