Chicago-area couple used children to help steal items from Oak Brook Macy's store: prosecutors

A Chicago-area couple was arrested Monday after allegedly using children to help steal nearly $1000 worth of merchandise from the Oak Brook Macy's store.

Around 5:46 p.m., prosecutors say 26-year-old Angelo Almaraz of Chicago and his domestic partner, 32-year-old Thalia Morales of Hammond, Indiana, entered the Macy's located at 1 Oakbrook Center with four children — three of whom belong to the couple. The kids ranged in age from infant to 13 years old.

The group went to the children's section and the two oldest kids began picking items and handing them to the couple who then put the items in Nordstrom Rack bags that they brought with them, prosecutors said.

When the group attempted to leave the store, they were stopped by a loss prevention officer. They then allegedly ran to their car with the merchandise and fled the scene.

Oak Brook police responded to the incident and pulled over their vehicle near Route 83. The couple was taken into custody.

Thalia Morales and Angelo Almaraz

"The allegations that two grown adults enlisted the help of children as they stole nearly one thousand dollars’ worth of merchandise are extremely disturbing," DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. "I caution anyone who is even thinking about coming to DuPage County to steal that if you do, you will be caught, charged and prosecuted."

The items taken were worth $962.

Almaraz and Morales were both charged with burglary and retail theft. They were released from custody and are due back in court on Dec. 26.

As for the children, the Illinois Department of Children and Family services has been notified of the incident.