A woman who police say left her 5-year-old grandson at a Wichita Kohl’s store after an aborted shoplifting attempt has been arrested, according to Sedgwick County Jail booking reports.
Kathleen A. Williams, 41, was arrested Friday on suspicion of child abandonment, theft and probation violation, booking reports show. She was booked early Saturday.
She was being held at the Sedgwick County Jail, awaiting charges, on $505,500 in combined bonds.
Police have said the boy was left at the Kohl’s store in the 6900 block of West Kellogg on June 16 when Williams, his paternal grandmother, fled during a shoplifting stop and did not return.
Never miss a local story.
The boy was placed in foster care after no one showed up to claim him. On Friday, Sedgwick County District Judge Jeffrey Syrios said he would remain there for now unless and until his mother's life and home situation improved.
The boy’s mother, 25, lives in Amarillo, Texas. Attorneys said Friday in court that she tested positive for methamphetamine after recently giving birth and is or would be undergoing drug treatment in Texas. She has hasn't seen the boy since August 2011.
The whereabouts of the boy's father are unknown. The court had made attempts to find him over the summer, but he was found in default Friday by Syrios. His last known address was in Pueblo, Colo.
No other relatives have stepped up on the boy’s behalf.
In June, police said Williams, the paternal grandmother, was confronted after trying to leave Kohl’s with about $200 worth of women’s clothing. Williams returned the clothes but then ran from the store without her grandson.
He was taken into police custody.
Court records show Williams had a history of theft convictions and substance abuse problems. Wichita municipal court records indicate she pleaded no contest in March 2013 to two counts of misdemeanor theft — one charged for shoplifting from a south Wichita K-Mart store on Jan. 20, 2013, and the second for stealing from a west-side K-Mart two weeks later, according to Wichita police reports.
Later that year Williams was arrested and again charged with theft — this time felonies — for stealing a woman’s tube top and jeans, a purse, a wallet and men’s underwear from the Von Maur and J.C. Penney stores in Towne East Square on Aug. 30, 2013, and for shoplifting food and a boy’s stocking cap from a Dillons store on Dec. 28, 2013.
She pleaded guilty in both cases and was sentenced to probation by a Sedgwick County District Court judge. The probation violations she’s been jailed on stem from these cases.
She also has convictions for possession of controlled substances in 2004 and driving under the influence in 2006 in Pueblo, Colo., as well as a history of methamphetamine and marijuana use in Sedgwick County, according to court records.