Police: Mom abandoned baby during shoplifting attempt

A woman will face charges after police say she abandoned her baby in a Hartsdale store when she was caught shoplifting.

Officials say the incident happened around 6 p.m. Sunday at TJ Maxx on Central Avenue. Thirty-nine-year-old Suzette Gruber, of the Bronx, pushed a stroller containing her 8-month-old son at security so she could flee, according to police.

Police say the mother's cell phone, purse and $185 worth of stolen items from the store were also in the stroller. Investigators say that's how they were able to identify Gruber. Authorities do not know the name of another woman who was with Gruber and also fled.

Police say they were able to use Gruber's cell phone to contact family members to alert them of the situation.

A man later showed up at the store claiming to be the baby's father. Officials say he had a birth certificate on him and he turned out to be the mother's boyfriend. They said they couldn't turn the baby over to him since they could not link him to the baby. The child is in protective custody.

Officials say Gruber, who now faces charges of theft and felony child abandonment, has been arrested 10 times. She has nine convictions for shoplifting in Yonkers, New Rochelle and White Plains. Police are continuing to look for her.

For the Greenburgh police news conference about the missing mother, go to channel 612 on your digital iO cable box and select iO Extra.

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