Woman handcuffed in front of son for stealing school supplies speaks out

School supplies

A mother who was arrested for allegedly stealing school supplies from a local Walmart is speaking out today.

Now, Yvette Lopez said she was forced to steal for her son.

Many comments defended the mother, and other were saying she should have found another way to get her son TMs school supplies.

She tells us stealing is wrong, but she said as a single parent with a limited income, she had no other choice.

"It makes me feel that I didn't have to do that," Lopez said.

Still ashamed about what she did, Lopez let us into her Harlingen apartment to explain why stole school supplies and other items from the Walmart in San Benito.

Lopez was arrested on Sunday for theft when she tried walking out of the store with $80 worth of notebooks, pencils, clothes and even snacks.

"The man approached me and that's when I felt like ~oh god, TM you know like, I TMm trying to get something for my kid and this happens. I don TMt know, I guess I kind of felt like I TMm going to get busted or something, but it's alright. I TMm going to try to go through with it, and if I get through, it will be for my kid "

Lopez, a medical assistant, said she did prepare for her son's return to school over the summer.

She said she purchased items little by little, but several weeks ago, someone broke into her apartment taking all of it.

The 9-year-old boy has apparently been trying to raise money on his own to buy new clothes and supplies for school by selling chips, pickles and sodas to children in the neighborhood.

Lopez said the money was simply not enough.

"My intentions were to go in there and get him stuff because everything that was going around, and I was just feeling overwhelmed. I don TMt get enough money to buy him anything. Right now, he's wearing the same shorts because I only got to buy him one pair of shorts and one pair of shirt and he doesn't have any shoes," she said.

Lopez has two prior theft arrests with the Harlingen Police Department, as well as one for possession of a controlled substance, and she does not deny her criminal history.

She said the arrests happened some six years ago and her past does not define who she is now.

Lopez said she was scared and embarrassed that she was handcuffed in front of her son, but she and the 4th grader learned a big lesson.

"Well, he knows now like with any little thing, if we don TMt have the money, we don TMt have the money. It's just something we're going to have to deal with. We talked about it, and he's like mom I'll be okay and even though they make fun of me, I TMll be okay. He's keeping it strong and he's just like don TMt worry about it mom, we'll figure it out, she said.

Lopez will have to go before a judge soon to face the theft charge against her, but she said after her story aired yesterday she got a visit from a Texas State Technical College employee who delivered a backpack full of all the school supplies her son needs.

Yvette Lopez TMs 9-year-old son wears:

Shirt: Men TMs LargePants: Men TMs 34 x29Shorts: Men TMs 34Shoes: Men TMs 9

If you would like to help you can contact Reporter Daisy Martinez-Barrera at