By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two people have been charged with shoplifting and other offenses after police say their scheme to distract store employees at a Walmart store in Egg Harbor Township backfired.

Detective Sergeant Mike Finnerty says police got a call early Tuesday morning  from employees at the Walmart on Black Horse Pike, who said a shopper told them she couldn’t find her 8-year-old granddaughter.

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(credit: Egg Harbor Township Police)

“In our world that’s a little interesting at that time of the day, it was just 12:45 a.m.,” Finnerty explained. “She says she last sees the juvenile in the jewelry section, which just happens to be at the rear of the store.”

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Meanwhile, a man the grandmother, 58-year-old Donna Hall, said was a friend who happened to be there was busy up front.

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“He took some empty bags and he was filling them with clothing and candy,” Finnerty said.

The ruse might’ve worked, says Finnerty, but the store had been placed on lockdown to search for the girl. And when police arrived, they determined the missing child didn’t exist.

The alleged friend turned out to be Donna’s son, 30-year-old Nicholas Hall.

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He’s been charged with shoplifting, drug possession and other offenses. His mother also has been charged with shoplifting, and making a false public alarm.