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Retail theft suspect takes off, leaves baby at Rostraver Township Walmart

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Djuana Tansmore

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Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A Monessen woman is accused of abandoning her 1-year-old niece in an effort to avoid arrest during a scuffle with store security Thursday at Walmart in Rostraver Township.

Djuna M. Tansmore, 48, of 927 McMahon Ave., was charged with retail theft, recklessly endangering another person, use/possession of drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of children.

The alleged incident occurred just before 1 p.m.

According to Rostraver Township police, Tansmore was seen on store surveillance video attempting to exit the store with laundry detergent and Miracle Whip.

Police said she had five containers valued at $86.58 when she attempted to leave the store while pushing a grocery cart. Her infant niece was strapped into the cart with a safety belt.

When Tansmore was approached by the store's loss prevention officer, she struggled to remove the child from the cart while the infant was still strapped in.

The struggle caused the cart to tip “in an unsafe position,” according to the police report.

Tansmore fled from the store but was later arrested near her home in Monessen, police reported. The child was released to the custody of her mother.

Tansmore was arraigned before Bradenville-based Magisterial District Judge Magisterial District Judge Mark J. Bilik and placed in the Westmoreland County Prison in Hempfield Township after failing to post $10,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing is schedule for 10 a.m. Friday before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen.

The manager on duty Friday night said it was his first night back on the job after being off.

He said the store's loss prevention officer was not available for comment Friday night.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or

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