Attention Parents: The LEGO Store Is Not A Day Care Center

They are not baby-sitters. (Kevin A. Hinkle)

They are not baby-sitters. (Kevin A. Hinkle)

LEGO stores are fun and amazing places for children, collectors, and for human beings in general. However, there is one thing they are not: a child care service where parents can ditch their kids while they shop. A mother from Long Island learned this earlier this week after she was arrested when she returned to the store to pick up her 7-year-old son.

LEGO stores do run some supervised classes and camps, but those are things that you have to sign up for. WCBS in New York City interviewed relatives, who said that the mother had been under the impression that store employees watched kids while they played. Maybe she meant in the sense that “watching” means caring for a child, as opposed to keeping an eye out to make sure she isn’t stuffing bricks in her pockets as she plays.

The child was left in the store for about 90 minutes. A store manager approached him, and he seemed “frightened,” so the manager summoned mall security. They in turn summoned the police, who arrested the mother when she returned to the store. She had another outstanding warrant for petit larceny.

The 7-year-old is staying with his grandparents, and a judge issued an order of protection keeping his mother away from him until after her next court date.

<a href="http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/08/06/police-l-i-woman-arrested-after-son-7-left-in-store-unattended/&quot; target="_blank"Police: L.I. Woman Arrested After Son, 7, Left In Lego Store Unattended For Nearly 90 Minutes [WCBS]

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  1. mentok says:

    Now that my work place has upgraded to Internet Explorer 9, I can finally login to the Consumerist and try out these comment thingies. Woo hoo!

    If I was unsure at all about whether or not the Lego store employees are there to watch kids, I would have asked them before leaving my kid with them. Also, how badly can a 7 year old slow you down while you are shopping? I am pretty sure that you don’t need to carry them at that age anymore.

    Also, our capitalist soceity is pretty f’d up when a parent thinks that shopping in a mall for 90 minutes is more important than spending time with their child.

    PRIMARY DIRECTIVE: Buy unnecessary crap to fill every corner of my home.
    SECONDARY DIRECTIVE: Use cellphone at least once every minute.
    TERTIARY DIRECTIVE: Buy and consume processed and fried food to fill every corner of my fat ass.
    QUATERNARY DIRECTIVE: Keep my children alive while also keeping them immobilized and stupefied.

    • GnRJosh says:

      Unfortunately, some parents feel that those 9 months of pregnancy is about all the bonding they need.

  2. theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

    it has been a very long time since i worked in a toy store and a little less long since i worked at disney. at both of these places, this sort of thing happened all day long. i would chase parents down in the mall when i saw them pushing their kid into the front of the store and saying “mommy’s going to sears for an hour, you wait here”
    in those days there was a mall play area in front of the security booth. if i didn’t see the parent make the drop or couldn’t catch them in the mall, we’d have security come get the kids- they would park them in the play area and when the parents came back to the toy store we’d refer them to security and endure a few minutes of yelling about how irresponsible we (toy store employees) are.
    because having security people, who are paid to sit in that spot and look around, watching your kids is somehow not preferred over leaving kids with a bunch of disinterested, teenaged part time employees who probably don’t even know your kids are alone in the store and sure as heck don’t have time to babysit?
    and the worst part was when the lady who called me irresponsible one week and had to go get her kids from security DID IT AGAIN another day.
    disney handled it through in house security and off duty sheriff’s deputies picking up extra security hours. i only ever saw the fallout from a few of these up close

    • Xenotaku says:

      I worked at a Sanrio (Hello Kitty) store, which was immediately next door to a Spencers (“novelty”) store. Because of how often we had kids dropped off, both for Spencers and for the mall in general, we had a clearly-posted “No children under the age of 12 allowed unless accompanied by an adult” sign. Luckily, I only had a few times a parent left their kid there. One time, the parent was in Spencers, and the kid was able to walk next door and find them (parent wasn’t happy, but they couldn’t argue the giant sign in the middle of our entrance). The other, didn’t know where the parent was, but I told the kid they could stand at the entrance and watch for them, instead of calling security or sending them out of the store. Parent was also not happy.