None of us are strangers to incredibly cute babies and the desire to pinch their chubby cheeks and steal them away. Well, in recent news, a woman based in Texas literally tried to do just that—in Walmart no less. Every parent’s worst fear of their child being snatched was narrowly avoided but not before she offered up to $500,000 (£370,912) for the one-year-old simply “because she wanted him.”
That’s right folks, cradle-robbing in the literal sense has made the news. On 13 January, 49-year-old Rebecca Lanette Taylor allegedly tried to “purchase” an infant from his mother while they were queuing up in Walmart. Taylor claimed the child was the “perfect fit” and wanted to buy him with cash from her car. The mother, who remains unnamed, had her son, whom Taylor tried to buy, in the shopping trolley while her other baby was in a car seat.
The Independent covered the story and noted that the woman from Crockett told the mother, who was waiting with her infant son and baby, that she admired the boy’s “blonde hair and blue eyes.” Taylor then proceeded to ask the very disturbing question of how much she could buy him off his mother for.
The police affidavit unveiled more on this bizarre baby snatch situation. Obtained by local news site The Messenger, the mother initially tried to laugh the comment off assuming the woman was merely joking. I mean, there’s no harm in jokingly saying that you’d love to take a cute kid, right? Of course not. It comes with the coochie-coos, the baby voice and the endless stream of compliments when running into an adorable family.
What the mother did not expect was for Taylor to be deadly serious about her inquiry. Taylor triggered the mother’s caution when naming her first price of $250,000 (£185,456) which she was prepared to pay upfront for the child—in cash. Taylor stated that she had the money ready in her car and had been waiting for an opportunity like this “for a long time,” according to The Independent.
Obviously, being asked to sell your child to a random stranger didn’t go down too well with the mother. She responded that “no amount of money would do,” and desperately tried to get her child far away from Taylor.
But Taylor was persistent in her pursuit of bagging the boy. It was at this time that a second unidentified woman approached the boy’s mother and asked more questions about him, such as his name.
Despite the mother’s refusal to answer their questions, Taylor and the other woman somehow found out the boy’s name and began calling for him.
According to police, the mother waited for both women to leave the store, but was confronted and cornered outside once she left the store trying to get to her car. “Once in the parking lot Taylor began screaming at (the mum), saying if she wouldn’t take $250,000 for him, then she would give her $500,000 because she wanted him and she was going to take him,” the affidavit detailed.
The mother locked herself and her two young children in her car to avoid the two women’s heckling. Taylor refused to give up, standing behind a black SUV next to the mother’s vehicle and continued to offer money for the child. She repeatedly stated her want to purchase him and upped her bounty to $500,000.
Eventually though, Taylor left the scene in the SUV.
Police reviewed Walmart’s CCTV footage and Crockett Police Department lieutenant Ahleea Price said it corroborated the mother’s claims and recollection of the event. They tracked down Taylor’s address in order to speak to her.
Taylor spoke to an officer and stated that she “doesn’t like thieves,” in the words of the affidavit. According to the police document the Texas woman’s hostile behaviour continued, “Then she stated I could speak with her attorney and to get off her ‘precipice.’ She slammed the door shut.”
After obtaining a warrant, police arrested Taylor who was taken into custody on 18 January and charged with a third-degree felony for the sale or purchase of a child. Her bail total amounted to $50,000. Taylor was reportedly released from Houston County Jail on bond on 20 January, but could face a sentence of up to ten years in prison if found guilty.