ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A mother and daughter allegedly conspired to steal thousands of dollars worth of goods from a local mall on Sunday.

According to police, the two had a plan to get away with a truckload of goods, but their getaway plan was foiled at the Ross Park Mall.

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Kate Spiker, 38, of Sharpsburg, and her 14-year-old daughter weren’t so discrete about their intentions Sunday afternoon.

Spiker was seen snatching high-end purses inside Nordstrom. Inside the bags was merchandise from at least two other stores.

Outside the mall, the teenage girl, who had already taken two handbags according to police, was behind the wheel of a rented U-Haul waiting for her mother.

“The merchandise is close to $5,000 in value. There were several trips made into the store and out. At one point, the daughter was actually made to drive the getaway vehicle,” Ross Twp. Police Sgt. Ben Dripps said.

Police said the getaway was stalled when mall security asked the girl to move the truck out of the fire lane.

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Spiker is seen in the surveillance video exiting the store and anxiously encouraging her daughter to circle back around. Police said the delay may have given them enough time to make the arrest on McKnight Road.

“They were very close to being out of Ross Township, when we were able to spot the vehicle, conduct the stop and retrieve the merchandise,” Sgt. Dripps said.

Charges against the teen are pending and Ross Township Police said she was extremely upset when questioned and believe the mother coerced the daughter into stealing the merchandise.

“You wonder what kind of parenting is involved, when a mother makes her daughter complicit in crimes such as theft,” Sgt. Dripps said.

On top of the charges the mother will be facing from Ross Township, police said they discovered Spiker had been arrested at the end of July in the City of Pittsburgh for retail theft as well.


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Heather Abraham