A Burlington mom didn't bother to find a baby-sitter before police say she decided to break the law. Shawna Hosmer, 25, allegedly brought her 5-year-old daughter with her when she broke into a home on Colchester Avenue Wednesday night. Prosecutors call it a troubling case.
"The child was with her, which means that the child was boosted through the window," Chittenden County Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Lam said.
The tenant told police the little girl came running toward him when he came home. But Hosmer grabbed her and took off, allegedly running into the alley before breaking into a second home just around the corner on East Avenue.
"When a criminal goes into the sanctity of one's home that's bad enough, but it's absolutely incredulous to believe that a child is brought in by that same criminal. It's just unspeakable," Burlington Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee said.
Police say Hosmer told them she was looking for her drug dealer but got the wrong house. In court, the woman acted strangely, appearing to intermittently nod off. Hosmer denied the burglary and trespass charges, but admitted she struggles with addiction.
Her friends couldn't explain why eyewitnesses put her at the scene, but they say she's a good mom.
But police say this isn't the first time Hosmer has pulled her daughter and 2-year-old son into her criminal activity. In June, police say Hosmer left her kids in a stroller while she broke into a home on Pearl Street. Police later arrested her on Church Street pushing that stroller and carrying the stolen wallet.
Vt. Superior Court Judge Robert Mello refused to hold Hosmer when he heard she was the sole caregiver for her children. Instead, he released her with conditions into the custody of her 23-year-old friend, who readily admitted she's been convicted of smuggling contraband into an out-of-state prison. Police say it's a dangerous pattern and they worry about the welfare of the kids.
"Will these events continue? We've got a great track record, or allegedly have a great track record. She's done it before. Did it twice last night. What's next? What we don't want to see is somebody be harmed," Higbee said.
Despite three incidents, Hosmer has not been charged with child endangerment and still has custody of her children. A report has been filed with DCF and Higbee says he's personally making sure a caseworker follows up on the complaint to ensure the safety of the kids.
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