Babysitters Used 2 Year Old as Decoy to Steal Alcohol

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 30, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Indiana residents Benjamin Sims and Danielle Howey are not your average babysitters. They're your less-than-average babysitters. The two are accused of using a baby as a decoy to steal alcohol.

How exactly was the toddler used as a decoy? Did they dress him up in a flashy but cute costume to distract store clerks? Sadly, their ploy was fair simpler than that.

They just used the 2-year-old to cover up their stolen goods.

Sims and Howey are accused of loading a cart full of alcohol, covering it with a blanket, and placing the child on top.

Fortunately they were caught when they later tried to pull the same trick at Walmart. A store clerk busted them attempting to steal hundreds of dollars worth of DVDs.

They were arrested on charges of felony theft.

It's possible these two babysitters may be charged with other crimes.

Ever heard of "child endangerment?" Many states have laws that specifically prohibit putting kids in dangerous situations. In Indiana, those in charge of a minor can be found guilty of a felony if they place the child in a "situation that endangers the dependent's life or health."

Using the child in a theft could arguably endanger the life or health of a 2-year-old.

The little two-year-old boy's mother probably thinks so. Especially since she frantically searched for her son after she came home from work and found the babysitters - and her baby - missing.

Luckily, she was reunited with her son at the South Bend police station. And it's no surprise that she's now looking for a new babysitter, according to WBST-TV. Here's hoping the next babysitter won't use her baby as a decoy for booze or anything else.

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