Friday, April 10, 2015

TOP STORY >> Mom arrested for leaving child

Leader staff writer

A Ward mother was arrested for allegedly leaving her son at the Cabot Kmart store and not returning to pick him up.

Shannon West, 32, of Ward was arrested at 5 p.m. Tuesday and charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of minor in the first degree, a felony.

Police were called to Kmart, 1 Kmart Plaza, for a 6-year-old boy who went to the service desk looking for his mother. An announcement was made over the store’s public address system about the child looking for his mom. A store employee and the boy went to the parking lot to search for his mom’s car.

Police spoke with the boy. He told officers that his mother left him, his 8-year-old brother and his 2-year-old brother in the car while she went in the store. The boy said he was thirsty and was looking for his mom.

Ten to 15 minutes after leaving the store, West called Kmart and said she left her child at the store. When told that police were talking with her son, West became agitated. Police advised West to come back to the store and speak with them about what happened.

West called back 10 to 15 minutes later and said she was unable to come back to Kmart because her car was not running at the time. Officers took her child to the police department.

An officer was sent to West’s home to pick her up because she said her car was still not working. While at the house, the officer reportedly saw West give her car keys to her brother and say, “Take my car and follow us up to Cabot PD and pick up the kids and bring them back home.”

West told police she went to Kmart to purchase plants. She left her vehicle in the loading zone while she went into the store. Her three children were still inside the car. West said she never lost sight of the vehicle and didn’t know how her son was able to exit the car without her seeing him.

She said she drove home and realized that the 6-year-old was not in his seat. She then called Kmart asking about her child.

When West was told she was being charged with felony, she said she would not fill out a statement or answer any other questions without speaking to an attorney.

While police were speaking with West, an officer spoke with the 6-year-old. He told the officer their 17-year-old brother was in the car while his mother went into the store. The officer reportedly told the boy it was not good to lie to police and that he should tell the truth. The boy then said there was not a 17-year-old.

A Department of Human Services agent was on the scene and released the three children to their mother.

West had a suspended driver’s license.


In December 2014, West was charged with two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a minor by Sherwood Police.

Police were called at 9:52 p.m. on Dec. 27 to the Kohl’s store parking lot about two children sitting in a car with no adult in sight.

Officers saw a van with an 8-year-old in the front passenger seat. Police knocked on the door. The boy opened the door and in the seat was an infant, shaking from being cold.

The 8-year-old told police that his mom went inside to shop and left them in the car. She was in there for so long that he went inside to see if she was still there. West told him to go back to the car. The child said they had been going to several stores during the day. Police noted that the rear of the van was full of merchandise.

Officers entered Kohl’s and spoke with the store manager. She said West could have been removing items from the store. She said the woman was suspicious, with a return of over $100 and no receipt.

The manager said West had been at the store 30 minutes and the receipt was time stamped at 9:10 p.m.

Police then spoke with West. She provided officers with a driver’s license that had a different name. The store manager said it was same driver’s license she provided to return the merchandise.

An officer asked if she was not Shannon West and if those were not her kids in the van.

West reportedly said, “What’s wrong with my kids,” and attempted to leave the store. Police said her children were fine and Kohl’s gave West a no trespassing order.

West’s children were picked up by friends at the Sherwood Police Department. She was taken into custody.

West was also charged with non-financial identity fraud, a felony, and obstruction of government operations.