Shoplifter accused of leaving baby home alone

BALLWIN, MO - A Ballwin man is accused of leaving his baby home alone while he went out shoplift.

Jarek Crowder, 24, faces municipal charges of child endangerment and theft.

Police give this account:  Crowder was caught stealing alcohol from the Manchester Dierberg’s store around 4:00 pm in the afternoon, December 4th; as Manchester Police detained him, he said he’d left his 11-month-old daughter home alone at his apartment about a mile and a half away.

“So, officers went down there to see where he lived. They gained entry and found the baby in a crib,” said Ballwin Police Officer, Scott Stephens. “(She) seemed to be hungry; soiled diaper.  I think the parental instinct kicks in right away.  It was a couple of dads on this call who went into action and made sure this baby was ok.”

The girl’s mother was out of town for work, police said, and there was just no excuse for Crowder to leave his daughter under any circumstances, let alone to commit a crime.

“Any amount of time unattended for a child that age is probably too much,” Stephens said.  “There’s definitely some aspects to this – a lot of bad decisions were made.  Anytime there’s a child involved, the safety of that child needs to be everybody’s responsibility.”

The state family services division is investigating and the little girl has been released to a grandparent, police said.

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