North Carolina woman sent to prison for stealing TVs

Published 7:11 am Friday, December 24, 2010


COURTLAND—A North Carolina woman with a rap sheet for theft-related charges on Tuesday asked a judge for leniency, claiming she had good reason for helping steal televisions from the Franklin Walmart.

“Everything I was stealing was for my kids,” Karen Deloatch told Southampton County Circuit Court Judge Rodham Delk Jr. during her sentencing. “I was a single parent.”

Delk responded by sending Deloatch to prison for 18 months for the Sept. 9, 2008, theft. Delk also told Deloatch, who is currently serving time on a separate offense in North Carolina, she has already stolen the life of her children.

After Deloatch, 29, of Rich Square and another female stole the televisions, a citizen followed them as they were leaving the Walmart parking lot and called police. Both were arrested that day.

During sentencing, Deloatch’s attorney argued that a longer sentence would mean his client missing out on the growth of her children.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke pointed out that Deloatch — the mother of a 4-, 7- and 9-year old —was first charged with petty larceny at age 17. Cooke cited 23 previous offenses prior to her involvement in the 2008 theft, and recommended the maximum sentence of five years.

Delk said he did not feel it was fair for the citizens of Virginia to pay for the cost of punishment when imprisonment has not stopped her before. He did say, however, that jail time was necessary to make it clear to Deloatch that crossing the state line to commit crimes will not be tolerated.

In an effort to avoid further jail time, she said she could be a functioning citizen without stealing.

Deloatch also received five years of probation.