Mom Guilts Sons Into Committing Armed Robbery

Filed under: In The News


Mom's financial plan lands family in jail. Photo courtesy of

Desperate times may call for desperate measures, but this is ridiculous: A mother in Phoenix, Arizona recently lost her job and was having trouble coming up with the money to pay her bills. In order to make ends meet, she pulled out the most powerful weapon in a mother's arsenal: Guilt. Police say 51-year-old Cynthia Roberson guilted her 12 and 14-year-old sons and five of their friends into embarking on an armed robbery spree in order to raise funds to pay her rent and car loan.

In all, police say Roberson's accomplices, ages 12 to 20, committed at least 20 armed robberies while she drove the getaway car and brandished a sawed-off shotgun. Their victims were random strangers, most between the ages of 13 and 20, who were assaulted in parks and on neighborhood streets.

The kids clearly weren't all that experienced in the art of theft: In at least one instance, the mom had to coach her 14-year-old on the proper way to separate a victim from his cell phone. Police don't know how much money the gang of thieves netted, but say a 13-year-old victim was beaten in a holdup that yielded only an orange lollipop.

They are all facing charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault. Currently, the 12-year-old is in the custody of Child Protective Services while the 14-year-old and two of his friends are being held in juvenile jail. Mom and three others, an 18-year-old and two 20-year-olds, are being held in the Maricopa County jail.

In what must surely be the understatement of the year, Phoenix police Sgt. Phil Roberts stresses that this is not an example of good parenting. "All of us should be disgusted by this," he says. "This is absolutely not how to raise your children."

Shocking Parenting

    Dad Uses Taser on 3-Year-Old
    Thankfully, he is now in prison.


    Getty Images

    Sun Gives Kid Second and Third-Degree Burns
    ...and dad wound up in jail.


    The Gearys on flickr

    Car Towed With Baby Inside
    Forget something? Oh yeah, your child.


    The Rocketeer on flickr

    Mom Calls 9-11 Looking for Nanny 9-11
    Let's hope she never has a real emergency.


    Carin on sxc

    Kids Switch Homes, Four Years After Hospital Mix-Up
    Wouldn't you just keep the kid you'd been raising as your own?


    jynmeyer on sxc

    You're Entering a "Shcool" Zone
    Spelling isn't the most important subject in this school district.


    Dad Serves Son Hard Lemonade on Accident
    CPS forced him to move out of the house. Did they go too far?


    fotologic on flickr

    Teacher Posts Nude Photos of Himself Online, Parents Freak Out
    He must not have been very good looking.


    mmagallan on sxc

    Applebee's Serves Margarita to Toddler
    The parents noticed hours later when their son started getting drowsy.


    elvinstar on sxc

    Newborn Drafted by German Army
    Fortunately they realized their mistake before sending him to the front lines.


    deonsdreaming on flickr

ReaderComments (Page 1 of 1)


Flickr RSS



AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.