Mom Stealing Candy from Drugstore Leaves Baby Behind, Police Say

By Heather Holland on October 16, 2013 8:56am | Updated on October 16, 2013 11:24am

 The Duane Reade at 100 Broadway, where three people were arrested for shoplifting and abandoning a child Oct. 7, 2013, police said.
The Duane Reade at 100 Broadway, where three people were arrested for shoplifting and abandoning a child Oct. 7, 2013, police said.
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DNAinfo/Marie Telling

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — So much for no child left behind.

A stroller-toting mom who used her 1-year-old son as cover during a massive candy shoplifting spree at a downtown Duane Reade used the tot's pram as a battering ram when workers confronted her — and then ran away without the baby, the NYPD said.

Michelle Calderon, 23, piled more than $250 worth of candy into the bottom of her son's stroller at the 100 Broadway store at 2:42 a.m. Oct. 7, police said. 

Calderon, who was arrested in June for smuggling an envelope of cocaine into Rikers Island and was out on $50 cash bail, had help from Raymond Lebron, 20, who grabbed cough drops and gum from the aisles, and Darnell Johnson, 26, who served as a lookout inside the store, police said.

But when the trio tried to leave the store without paying, a worker confronted the group and tried to take back the stolen items: $179 worth of Halls throat drops, $59 worth of Wrigley’s gum, $43 worth of Dentyne gum and $15 worth of Tic Tacs, police said.

Lebron hit the worker in the face twice — cutting the worker's chin and throat — while Calderon used her stroller to push the worker out of the store, ramming him down onto the sidewalk, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's criminal complaint.

The worker grabbed the stroller and held onto it in an effort to keep the trio from fleeing, but they dashed off anyway, leaving the stroller and the young child behind, the criminal complaint said.

All three suspects were later caught and charged with robbery, abandonment of a child and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the DA's office.

Calderon was being held at Rikers on $15,000 bail on Wednesday, records show.

Information about the suspects' attorneys was not immediately available. Duane Reade did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Police said the child was taken away by Administration for Children's Services. An ACS representative said the child was still in ACS custody Wednesday and the investigation was ongoing.

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