Mother of 4 Arrested after Forging Stolen Checks, Leaving Kids Alone in Car

BRYANT, AR – Thelma Harris provided the unexpected helping hand to a police during an incident at Walmart Friday (12/19) in Bryant.

“When I walked in there I saw the police officer and the little children on the bench,” Harris explained. “He had his hands full. It was just hard for him.”

She says the kids sitting there were acting out, even hitting the officer.

When she asked the Officer he told her the children’s mom was in trouble.

Officers with the Bryant Police Department (BPD) had Tammy Harshaw, 24, in custody for allegedly trying to use stolen checks to buy merchandise and gift cards.

Harshaw faces several charges as a result of the investigation including two counts of forgery, two counts of theft by receiving, resisting arrest, obstructing government operation and destruction of evidence.

According to BPD, Harshaw actually admitted to eating one of the checks she tried to use to buy a cell phone.

BPD reports Harshaw is suspected in, and had the stolen checks, from a breaking and entering case the week before out of Benton.

In addition to the previous charges, Harshaw faces four counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.

The officers found out her children, a 5-year-old, twin 3-year-olds and a two year old were all left alone outside in the car while she committed the crime. 

“When you have that type of crime and you leave your kids in the car, that just shows you really have no mercy for your children at all,” remarked Chief Mark Kizer.

While trying to investigate what happened, the officers were also trying to manage all four kids that they brought inside and sat on the bench outside the Lost Prevention Office.

That’s where Harris came in.

Harris and another unnamed stranger, reached out to the officers in need.

“Just seeing the kids there, without the mom… it bothered me,” Harris said.

Harris waited with the children until they were released to their grandmother.

Chief Kizer added, “In this day and time, what’s happened recently across America with law enforcement, it’s good when you have two Good Samaritan’s step up to help law enforcement.” 

It may have just been a helping hand but according to one Officer on the scene, “It was very clear that without their help, they would have had a really difficult time investigating the incident while trying to maintain control of the four (4) children.”

Now, BPD says they want to thank the two people for their help.

“It means a lot,” Harris said. “They appreciated me.”

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