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News Nearby: Mother Accused of Coercing Daughter into Shoplifting Spree at Ross Park Mall

The pair was caught with nearly $5,000 worth of merchandise in a rented pick-up truck on McKnight Road.

say a mother coerced her 14-year-old daughter to go on a high-end shoplifting spree inside Sunday before police nabbed them on McKnight Road. 

Kate Spiker, 36, of Sharpsburg, was seen snatching high-end purses inside Nordstrom, according to police. 

Her daughter was behind the wheel of a rented pick-up truck outside the mall waiting while her mother made several trips in and out of various shops with the loot. 

“They took nearly $5,000 worth of merchandise,” said Ross Police Sgt. Ben Dripps. “High end merchandise such as purses, nightwear, lingerie, all stuff women would love. It was not your typical back to school shopping trip.” 

The plot began to unravel when a mall security guard asked the girl to move the truck out of the fire lane. 

Police said Spiker is seen on surveillance video anxiously telling her daughter to circle back around. That delay was just enough to allow police to make the arrest on McKnight Road. 

“They were very close to being out of Ross Township when we were able to spot the vehicle, conduct the stop and retrieve the merchandise,” Dripps said. 

In addition to the charges from Ross Township, police said they discovered Spiker had been arrested late last month in Pittsburgh for retail theft. 

Charges against her daughter are pending. She was released into the custody of her father. 

Ross Township Police said they believe the mother coerced the daughter into stealing the merchandise.

“You wonder what kind of parenting is involved, when a mother makes her daughter complicit in crimes such as theft,” Dripps said.

As for a motive, “There really isn’t any indication that there is a drug problem,” said Dripps. “She probably did it for the same reason people have been stealing since Moses wore short pants, greed.”

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