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Shoplifting Parents Arrested Again After Leaving Kids in Car During Alleged Walmart Theft

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Two Florida parents who’d already been previously arrested on grand theft charges were arrested again for shoplifting on Wednesday.

According to authorities, Gerald Moultrie and Tosheba Hope left their three young children in the car as they shoplifted at a local Walmart.

The couple had only recently been released on charges stemming from prior shoplifting, reports NBC Miami, when they were taken into custody again for the same offense. They are accused of stealing $660 dollars worth of items from a Walmart.

When the couple was picked up by the police, they did not reveal that they’d left their children in the car, according to the Sun Sentinel. It wasn’t until around 2am, seven hours after the arrest, that the children–ages 2,7, and 9– were found crying in the car.

Hope is the mother of the two young girls and Moultrie is the father of the boy.

At a Wednesday hearing, the judge indicated that all three children will remain in the custody of the father of two of the children, Ralph Thomas. Moultrie’s son may eventually be handed over to his relatives.

Keeping the children together “mitigates a little bit of that trauma” said the Broward judge.

“I don’t believe in separating siblings,” said Thomas.

He said that the children were “scared” and he was expecting the worst after receiving a call in the middle of the night.

“A call like that, I’m expecting someone’s dead,” Thomas said.

According to Child Protective Services, Hope lied to authorities about the whereabouts of her children. A CPS worker testified that Hope “had advised [the arresting deputy] there was a cousin who had taken the children and left.”