Couple accused of posing as parents to steal from day cares - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Couple accused of posing as parents to steal from day cares identified

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Surveillance photo of the suspects. (Source: St. Matthews Police Department) Surveillance photo of the suspects. (Source: St. Matthews Police Department)
Surveillance photo of the suspects. (Source: St. Matthews Police Department) Surveillance photo of the suspects. (Source: St. Matthews Police Department)
Jenny Vermeer Jenny Vermeer
Sharon Mohn Sharon Mohn
Detective Barbara Shepard Detective Barbara Shepard

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - While children are learning and playing St. Matthews police said people pretending to be parents are looking for wallets, credit cards and cash.

It's happened several times in St. Matthews, leaving parents and day care workers on edge. You may be surprised to know many of the day care centers don't have security cameras, but that wasn't the case at Sproutlings Pediatric Day Care where cameras gave police a good look at thieves in action.

Wednesday St. Matthews identified the suspects as Tamera Jenkins and Duane Acklin.

What the couple is accused of doing inside Ajabuland on Browns Lane had child care workers and parents like Jenny Vermeer angry.

"For just some total stranger to come in and invade that kind of privacy," Vermeer said, "I'm furious about it."

Vermeer's 20-month-old daughter loves Ajabuland, she also loves care giver Sharon Mohn.

"I've never had this happen," Mohn said in surprise.

Mohn said the couple caught on camera at Sproutlings Day Care is the same couple she met Monday.

She explained they came to the front door, "They want to do a tour, say they've got a child they want to enroll and I say no problem, welcome them in and show them around and show them everything we do."

Police said they claim to be a mom and dad, Tamara going by her actual first name and Duane going by John.

In Mohn's case, investigators said John pretended to go to the restroom when he instead went to the office and got into Mohn's purse under her desk. Minutes later, the couple was gone. Next stop a Kroger gas station and Rally's Hamburgers using Mohn's credit cards.

St. Matthews Police Detective Barbara Shepard explained of the couple's MO, "Once a (care giver) is distracted, they will try to reach in and grab a wallet to get money, credit cards or whatever they can use."

Shepard said on January 22, the couple was denied a tour at Cornerstone Child Development when an employee thought they were acting strange. After they left the building, the employee went to make sure they were gone.

"She walked outside to see if the subjects were still there," Shepard said, "and she noticed a purse laying there with some pamphlets from some other day cares in the area."

Days later, police said the same couple showed up at Sproutlings, where camera's caught them reaching over the front desk and on the day care tour. Louisville Metro police are also looking for a couple matching Jenkins' and Acklin's same description that broke into a car at Buttons, Bows and Britches on Cannons Lane.

"Anytime something with children happens it's very disturbing," Shepard said.

Mohn said they are now being very careful at Ajabuland to make sure wallets and purses aren't visible to visitors.

St. Matthews police said warrants for Jenkins' and Acklin's arrests were issued Wednesday.

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