An Elizabeth man told police he "made a big mistake" after being arrested for stealing a 50-inch TV with his 5-year-old son in tow.


Linden Police Capt. James Sarnicki told that the suspect, Alleon D. Gayles, 44, attempted to steal the $548 television from the Walmart store on West Edgar Road in Linden on Nov. 11. Gayles, who's 5-year-old son was with him at the time, also attempted to remove a battery charger, Sarnicki said.

Police were called to the store around 1 p.m. after they were contacted by the store, who said they had a shoplifter in custody. reported that employees from Wal-Mart told police they witnessed Gayles putting the television in a shopping cart. He then took a pair of scissors from the store, ripped them from the package and cut the alarm sensor on the television.

As he attempted to leave the store, Gayles showed Walmart employees a receipt that was a week old, police said. Employees noticed the date and took the suspect into custody, along with his 5-year-old son.

Gayles was charged with third-degree shoplifting. He was released on a summons pending a future court appearance.

The state Department of Children and Families was asked to evaluate the family situation and ensure the five-year-old's welfare, Sarnicki told


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