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Police: Shoplifter runs, leaves children behind

Alachua County Jail photo of Marrisa L. Scaroni
Alachua County Jail photo of Marrisa L. Scaroni

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A 26-year-old woman who was caught shoplifting Saturday at a Gainesville Walmart ran from the store, leaving her two small children behind in a shopping cart, the Gainesville Police Department said.

Marrisa L. Scaroni is charged with two counts of child neglect and one count each of resisting a merchant, petit theft and giving a false name to a law enforcement officer.

Police said Scaroni was caught stealing $23.21 worth of merchandise and was stopped at the exit by a Walmart loss prevention officer. She ran from the officer, leaving her children -- ages 2 and 5 -- behind in the shopping cart.

Walmart staff took the children into the loss prevention officer's office and the officer went after Scaroni, catching her quickly and bringing her back to the office.

When police arrived, Scaroni told them she did not have an ID with her and gave a false name. A search turned up Scaroni's ID, confirming her true identity.

The children were turned over to a friend of Scaroni, and the Department of Children and Families was notified of the incident.

Scaroni was booked into the Alachua County Jail with bond set at $10,000.