Police: Mom left kids in car while Black Friday shoplifting

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Jenni Marie Ennis
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Jenni Marie Ennis

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Officers called to a shoplifting in progress Friday not only found a woman pushing a cart loaded with merchandise out of the Kohl's store on Atlantic Boulevard, they found three children in her parked car.

Jenni Ennis, 28, was arrested on charges of retail grand theft around 3 p.m. She said she needed to contact someone because there were children in her car, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Officers not only found children in the car, they also found other merchandise and a brand new television in the trunk.

Kohl's produced surveillance video and documents showing the items taken totaled $632.70, and the merchandise in the car was returned to the store. The television set belonged to Walmart and was returned. Other items without proof of purchase were placed in the JSO property room.

A charge of child neglect was added, and Ennis was booked into jail and ordered held on $45,000 bond.

“I can't believe it,” a neighbor of Ennis said. “I don't know her that well, but I didn't think she did stuff like that.”

This is Ennis' twelfth arrest in Duval County, according to records. In June, she pleaded guilty to two grand-theft charges for stealing more than $600 worth of jewelry and clothing from the Belk store on Southside Boulevard. In that case, police said Ennis' children were also left outside in a car, but they were being watched by a friend. She served 30 days in jail for the crime.

Ennis' children, whose ages were redacted from the report, were left in the custody of their grandfather, police said.