BUFORD — Promised new clothes, two young Atlanta teens hopped in a car with a pair of women they barely knew. Some 40 miles later, they were at the Mall of Georgia being forced to shoplift.
This week Gwinnett County police arrested 28-year-old Kellisha Weems and 26-year-old Jawanna Mobley, charging both women, who also use multiple aliases, with two counts apiece of theft by shoplifting, interference with custody and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The charges stemmed from an alleged Sunday afternoon escapade that found them with more than $1,200 worth of merchandise from three different stores, all reportedly stolen by 13- and 14-year-old boys.
According to incident reports, the 14-year-old boy was outside his apartment complex on Barrett Drive in Atlanta when a red Chevrolet Impala pulled up. The boy “said that he has talked to the two females before in the past but did not know their names.”
“The two females told him they were going to the mall and wanted to know if he wanted to go with them so they could buy him clothes,” police said. He got in the car.
A few minutes later, a 13-year-old boy was outside his own apartment, this one on Myrtle Drive, when the Impala arrived. He spotted the other teen — who he had known for “three or four days” — inside, heard the same promises and got in as well.
“(The victim) said the next thing he knew, he was at the Mall of Georgia with two females he has never met before,” the incident report said.
Once at the Buford mall, both teens were given empty Abercrombie & Fitch bags.
At Macy’s, Weems and Mobley allegedly told one of the boys to wait by the water fountain while they made two separate trips to dump merchandise into a fitting room. When they were done, the kid was sent in to collect all the items — about $500 worth — in the Abercrombie bag before attempting to leave.
“(The victim) said he knew it was wrong but they told him they would leave him at the mall and (he) felt like he had to do it,” police said.
The other boy was reportedly coerced into stealing four pairs of jeans, valued at $200, from Belk, the police report said.
All told, more than $1,200 in merchandise from three different stores was recovered. The plot began unraveling when Macy’s loss prevention saw everything on surveillance cameras.
Weems and Mobley — and an unrestrainted 3-year-old boy — were ultimately tracked down headed back to Interstate 85 in their Impala. Gwinnett County jail records show Weems was released on $12,200 bond while Mobley was being held for authorities in Cobb County.
The two teens were released to their families and not charged.