Walmart employees help to thwart attempted kidnapping

HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. - A woman tried to kidnap a 4-year-old boy on Tuesday at a Walmart but several store employees stepped in to help.

Halla Stonehouse of Milwaukie came to the store to run a few errands, mostly to buy dog food.

She took her three kids, ages one, three and four. They were heading to the checkout counter and Stonehouse had noticed a skinny woman had been following them for about five or 10 minutes.

At the self-checkout lane, the woman got real close and started mumbling. She pointed at the 4-year-old old and said he was her son.

"Scary," Stonehouse said later during an interview. "I mean, that's my biggest fear is someone trying to take my kids away from me ... because they're little and they're vulnerable."

All three children were in Stonehouse's shopping cart so she was able to keep them close.

She said the woman never touched the children but was making a big fuss, saying the oldest son was hers and claimed she had Social Security cards for him. She actually wanted to call police to try and take that boy away.

Store employees came over and distracted the woman so she left.

Police came and looked at the security video and found the woman elsewhere in town. They say they took her to a hospital because she had mental health issues.

Stonehouse is glad it didn't happen in the parking lot where she would be more vulnerable. She also is glad there was surveillance video as well as many people around to help.

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