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Stupid Case File for August 19, 2006

Grandma Told Me To Do It

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BEDFORD, New Hampshire -- A woman turned herself in to police Wednesday after a store surveillance video captured footage of two children sneaking behind display cases to steal thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, allegedly on instructions from their mother and grandmother.

Bedford police made the video public this week and started getting tips minutes after it aired on local television.

Police Chief David Bailey said the woman, whom he declined to identify, was not arrested because there was no warrant. She promised to return when one was prepared, which Bailey said could happen by Thursday.

The woman said she lives in the area and has four children, one age 14 and three younger than 10, Bailey said. All are suspected to have been involved, he said.

The video, taken August 2 at a store called the Consignment Gallery, shows one woman, possibly the children's mother, directing them to pocket certain items. An older woman, believed to be the grandmother, stuffs items down her shirt.

A woman who identified herself as the older woman on the video talked with WMUR-TV on Wednesday and denied stuffing merchandise down her shirt, saying that is where she carries her cell phone, money and other belongings.

Margaret Ryan said she was shopping for a bed with her daughter when her grandchildren began to misbehave. She said her daughter was not stealing jewelry but rather trying to get her children to put back items they had taken.

"I was browsing around the store and the children were wild in the store," Ryan said. "My granddaughter did take a ring, but we didn't realize it until we saw the news."

Detective Matt Fleming said more than $2,000 in jewelry was stolen from the store.

"It's pretty upsetting," Fleming said. "Watching the children methodically move through that jewelry area and take the items out for the mother is just astonishing

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