After a woman’s daughter and niece stole personal hygiene items, the woman appeared to have arranged the theft and is now charged with contributing to the girls’ delinquency.

Andrea Ellison, of Racine, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with retail theft and two counts of contributing to a delinquency of a child. If convicted of all charges, Ellison faces up to two years three months in prison and/or fined up to $30,000.

According to the criminal complaint, Ellison was shopping at the Family Dollar, 2300 Rapids Drive, on Tuesday with her daughter and her niece. While in the hair care aisle, the two girls put items in Ellison’s purse. She paid for some of the items, but not the ones in her purse.

A manager confronted Ellison. While searching Ellison’s purse the manager found a tube of toothpaste and started to question the girls. But they ran off. Ellison told the manager she didn’t know the girls. She then got into her car and left. The manager watched Ellison then pick up the girls and drive away.

The manager told police that the girls took a tube of toothpaste, a box of tampons, a hairbrush and a package of hair clips. The manager could see the stolen items in Ellison’s car. When officers questioned her, she then admitted to knowing the girls.

Ellison is being held on a $1,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for 3:15 p.m. Nov. 16 in Racine County Circuit Court.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.