Rebecca Lanette Taylor, a 49-year-old Texas woman, was arrested after police said she tried to buy a baby at a Walmart earlier this month.
According to local reports, a young mother called authorities after Taylor and an unnamed accomplice allegedly tried to purchase her child for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The mom said Taylor waited for her in the parking lot, doubled her offer, and had somehow learned the child’s name before the bizarre incident came to an end.
After a brief investigation, Taylor was taken into custody last week and charged with “sale or purchase of a child,” a third-degree felony under Texas law.
Walmart Shopper Allegedly Tried to Buy a Baby
The mother told authorities she and her children were in the self-checkout line when Taylor and another woman — described as “Hispanic” looking — approached her and “began commenting on her son’s blond hair and blue eyes.”
“She asked how much she could purchase him for,” police wrote in a probable cause affidavit. “[The mom] tried to laugh this comment off, thinking Taylor was joking. Taylor told her that she had $250,000 in the car and she would pay that much for him. (The mom) told her no amount of money would do.”
According to court filings, Taylor wouldn’t take no for an answer. Investigators wrote that the 49-year-old continued to press the issue, even after the mom grew suspicious and told her to stay away from her son.
Police wrote that Taylor insisted she “had wanted to purchase a baby for a long time.” In a chilling twist, Taylor and her accomplice somehow figured out the child’s name — despite the mother having refused to tell them when they asked.
The encounter escalated when the young mom and her kids left the store.
“Once in the parking lot,” Crockett police said in a court filing, “Taylor began screaming at [the mom], saying if she wouldn’t take $250,000 for him, then she would give her $500,000 because she wanted him and she was going to take him.”
The mother said she locked her children in the car as quickly as she could. Meanwhile, Taylor was standing near a black SUV parked right next to the terrified family and continuing to demand the baby, authorities said.
She eventually got in the vehicle and fled the Walmart.
Rebecca Lanette Taylor Faces Jail Time
Crockett police Lt. Ahleea Price took a statement from the young mom, who called 911 as soon as Taylor drove away.
In a court affidavit, Lt. Price wrote that she checked surveillance footage captured at Walmart, which appeared to match the mom’s report. She then traveled to Taylor’s home to ask her about the allegations, though it’s unclear how the detective learned the 49-year-old’s identity.
When Lt. Price knocked on Taylor’s door, “she told me that she doesn’t like thieves,” the officer wrote. “Then she stated I could speak with her attorney and to get off her ‘precipice.’ She slammed the door shut.”
Last Tuesday, less than a week after the bizarre incident, Lt. Price returned to the home with an arrest warrant. Rebecca Lanette Taylor was booked into a Houston County jail on charges of selling or purchasing a child.
If convicted, Taylor could spend anywhere from two to 10 years in a Texas prison and face up to $10,000 in fines.
The 49-year-old was reportedly still being held on $50,000 bond as of Thursday. Her incarceration status this week was not clear as of Monday morning.
Walmart ‘Baby Shopping’ is Strangely Common
Taylor is not the first Walmart shopper in recent memory to stand accused of haggling over a child.
In 2018, an 81-year-old Florida man was arrested after a woman claimed he approached her in Walmart and asked to buy her 8-year-old daughter for $200,000.
Hellmuth Kolb was charged with simple battery and false imprisonment after authorities said he grabbed the girl by the wrist and tried to kiss her after her mom rejected his offer.
Back in 2010, a California couple was charged with child endangerment for allegedly trying to sell their baby to strangers for $25.
The outcomes of those cases were not immediately available.