Pregnant NC mom of twins embarrassed after being questioned for shoplifting

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Monday, August 13, 2018

PINEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- A pregnant mom expecting twins was accused of stuffing items 'up her shirt' at a Staples in Pineville.

A store manager asked a police officer to question Sherell Bates, who is 34 weeks pregnant.

Bates was in the middle of shopping for school supplies when mid-transaction, the officer asked her to step aside, where he then asked what was under her shirt and whether she was shoplifting.

"Initially, I thought he was joking, so my response was, 'Twins,'" Bates said. "I'm 34 weeks with twins. I'm having a boy and a girl."

Bates said the officer didn't believe her the first time, and he asked her again.

"At that point, to avoid him asking me again, I actually lifted my shirt just a little bit, just to expose my belly, so he could see that I'm just a regular pregnant person buying school supplies," Bates said.

Staples said Monday that the manager did not follow the correct protocol and did not adhere to the company's policy on interacting with customers.

The company said it has since apologized to Bates.