NORTON SHORES, Mich. – Multiple tips from Silent Observer and phone calls came in to police Tuesday identifying two women suspected of stealing more than $1,000 of baby formula from stores in the Muskegon area, according to the Norton Shores Police Department.
Sources told FOX 17 that the suspects are a mother and daughter from Stanton.
Police will not identify suspects until they are officially charged, but according to Michigan criminal records, the younger woman of interest has a checkered past. Her record dates back to 2006 with a charge of minor-in-possession and includes driver’s license suspensions, a guilty plea to attempting to make a purchase using a false identity, and two theft charges, including retail fraud this last September.
An acquaintance, who did not want to be identified, said she recognized the women quickly from Facebook.
"I couldn't believe it,” said the woman. “Instantly, I did what I had to do. I feel bad for her daughter, but, you know, if this were to continue, and she was to keep stealing, it could get higher and higher. Se could spend time in jail, she could lose her child. Might as well just get her while you can."
Officers said investigating a theft of this large an amount of stolen baby formula is a first. Although officers said it is too early to identify a motive, they said they have seen products like alcohol stolen and resold, but not baby formula.
“We do see that quite a bit with different products," ” said Sgt. Brandon Poel with the Norton Shores Police Department. "We have not seen it with baby formula in this point in time."
When FOX 17 called one of the persons of interest, the call went straight to voice mail.
Those who know the younger suspect said she has a two-year-old daughter who most likely would not be on baby formula.