RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A Moreno Valley couple is accused of using two kids in a series of robberies, officials said.
The couple appeared in court for the first time Tuesday.
“It’s crazy,” says Robyn Flores of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, “how many agencies, how many locations are involved.”
Authorities said Darrell Campbell, 32, showed the kids how to steal and Jeammie Preston, 31, was the getaway driver.
The crimes were committed in nine Inland Empire stores, CBS2’s Nicole Comstock reported.
These included two Home Depot stores and a Target in Moreno Valley in April and May and several other major retailers last year.
The alleged crimes also took place in Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Eastvale, Glendora and San Bernardino.
Flores said the suspects told the kids what to say and coached them on how to steal.
The criminal complaint alleges Campbell and Preston used threats, commands and persuasion to get the children — a 16-year-old boy and am 11-year-old girl — to do their bidding.
“We entrust adults to protect these children,” Flores said, “whether they are the parents, grandparents any guardians and they were basically putting these kids at risk of danger and injury.”
The couple’s family came to court but had no comment.
As Campbell was escorted out of court, he mouthed to his family, “I’m going to call you.”
The couple is expected to return to court on July 26.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department believes there may have been more crimes committed and want to hear from other possible victims.