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Woman charged in viral Walt Disney World stroller theft

May 13, 2017, 9:42 AM · A Florida woman is facing Grand Theft charges after she was identified as the seller of a thousand-dollar stroller that was stolen from Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Surveillance video of a woman taking the stroller went viral last month, touching a nerve among the hundreds of thousands of parents who leave their stroller unattended while they go on attractions at Disney World and other theme park resorts.

Michelle Craig, of Spring Hill, Fla., is facing the theft charges after the Texas woman to whom she allegedly sold the stroller online alerted authorities. Craig turned herself in at her local sheriff's office this week.

Apparently, this might not have been the only item stolen, as authorities found multiple luxury strollers, diaper bags and other items for sale online by Craig.

So what can you do to prevent someone stealing your stroller when you visit Disney or another major theme park with a toddler?

Actually, not much. Whatever you do, don't be the person who locks a stroller to a fence, post, or other permanent thing in a park. Park employees end up moving all those strollers around for a reason — to minimize their blocking the flow of other guests in the park. A locked stroller's gonna get its lock popped by park security, and no, they won't care about your ensuing complaint.

But that doesn't mean stroller theft should worry you. Keep in mind that millions of people visit theme parks without having anything stolen. (Lost? That's a completely different issue....) One of the reasons why this incident gained so much attention was because it's so rare.

Still, you can protect yourself from losing a stroller — whether by theft, intentional or accidental, or just forgetting where you put it in the sea of strollers outside any toddler-friendly attraction. Don't leave money, credit cards, mobile phones, official ID, or needed medication in an unattended stroller. Disney is super accommodating relative to other companies in allowing people to bring purses and bags onto rides. So take your bag with you.

You also can pull the "pour root beer over a diaper in a clear plastic bag and tie to to the handle" trick to nauseate potential thieves... or other confused parents who own the same model stroller as you. If you must bring an expensive stroller to Disney, just park it next to an even more expensive stroller, in the hopes that the thief will nab it and not yours.

Or you can just opt for the convenience of renting a stroller at the park, which you can have replaced whenever it is stolen, lost, or just forgotten.

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Replies (28)

May 13, 2017 at 10:02 AM · She might have done us all a favor. Maybe people will think twice about clogging up the parks with their giant strollers lol.
May 13, 2017 at 10:12 AM · Attach a ' Tile ' tracking device to your stroller ....... Simple !!
May 13, 2017 at 10:44 AM · That's what you get for buying a $1000 stroller. Moron.
May 13, 2017 at 11:16 AM · Hmm last time I checked theme parks were for all to enjoy especially Children. Shame on you!
May 13, 2017 at 12:16 PM · Bring the cheapest and dirtiest stroller. Anyways, expensive strollers suggests other nice things might be inside. You're inviting someone to take it.
May 13, 2017 at 12:57 PM · As previously mentioned, it would behoove Disney to request ( politely demand) all parents with strollers to leave their stroller in their car and use a fold-able Disney stroller... These multi child monoliths that are actually a carryall for purses,shopping bags, food, beverages , while the child walks behind are an irritant and hazard... Standardize the product... eliminate the theft possibility and make the parents utilize the stroller for ...wait for it ...their child.!!!
May 13, 2017 at 2:02 PM · Disney strollers don't fold. They are made of hard plastic for durability and are overpriced for a daily rental.
May 13, 2017 at 2:26 PM · Yeah it's too bad all of these families go to a theme park made for families.
May 13, 2017 at 3:41 PM · I agree with Robert (both of them!). If you're bringing little ones to the park, renting strollers as opposed to bringing your own is much more preferable. It's probably less expensive (certainly not $1000), it's one less thing to pack, Disney (or whichever theme park you're visiting) will have even more incentive to find it if it gets lost or stolen since it's their own property, and as the comment above said they allow for much more storage space.

May 13, 2017 at 4:24 PM · Some parents, like myself, are parents of multiples (like twins, triplets, etc). We have "special" strollers for our kiddos. I use it from the parking lot to park too. My babies can't ride in a plastic rental yet... and like mentioned above, they are overpriced!
May 13, 2017 at 4:54 PM · Disney goes above and beyond to make everyone's experience a perfect one. It is unfortunate that a few morons have to ruin it for the majority of decent people that attend the happiest place on earth!
May 13, 2017 at 8:06 PM · I've watched as Disneyland (my park of choice) has become a sea of stroller parking, and have had a lifetime's worth of bruises on the back of my shins due to "enthusiastic" parents or their kids. I watch people with the Escalade-sized monsters carrying all their worldly goods clutter up an entire walkway. I get it; kids need snacks, diapers, and possibly clothing changes.

I'd like to suggest that Disney (a) only allow their strollers in the park, except for medical needs, and make the rental charge nominal; (b) install more lockers, LOTS more lockers, and make the price nominal. People won't need to carry everything around if lockers are accessible and affordable. I know the company wants every dime it can get, but the guest experience is being trashed by the nightmare of ever-expanding stroller corrals and crowding. They are more likely to get a higher number of return guests (and AP renewals) if the experience improves. Forum chats are full of frustrated guests and AP holders who are looking at other options due to the crowding and strollers.

Parents want to take kids to Disney parks; well, duh! (Although I still fail to understand how an infant can enjoy it) They should be able to use a stroller that doesn't cost a year's salary, and that doesn't make them look like Parentzillas. Using park strollers eliminates the theft problem, and makes it easier for the Cast Members to organize them.

And seriously, $1000 for a stroller? Seriously?

May 13, 2017 at 9:07 PM · Somehow we struggled by with normal old fashioned foldable strollers in the 70's and 80's. But no, now parents need SUV sized strollers that cost more than my first car. Time for Disney to ban them.
May 14, 2017 at 4:39 AM · Seems questionable to ...

a) blame someone who has their property stolen as being the one at fault. That would be the scumbag who steals something that is at fault.

b) criticize someone for having a stroller that costs X amount. Is it outrageous for most of us to consider spending X on a stroller? Absolutely. Does it make you a target having such an unattended valuable at a theme park? Absolutely. But it doesn't make them a "moron", either ... it's their individual choice. At the end of the day, you accept an element of risk when you leave an item unattended.

c) criticize parents for turning Disney into a "sea of strollers." Many others have done a very good job of turning EPCOT into a "sea of obnoxious drunks" during Food and Wine. Or any other "sea of" obnoxious occurrence that happen in the parks.

Honestly, this is the biggest story about nothing. Cars are broken in to every day in Orlando. The story doesn't "go viral." It's part of life in a tourist town. Just like theft is part of life everywhere.

May 14, 2017 at 6:11 AM · I wonder what makes a stroller $1000. I am assuming that this was a pretty large and complicated stroller so its even more surprising that somebody took it so brazenly.
May 14, 2017 at 8:21 PM · These comments make me sick. Disney park's target audience are families with children. If you have young children, and especially young children, you need a stroller. Little ones can't walk around the parks all day and its impossible to carry them. In those large crowds it isn't safe to let a toddler walk around. The complaints on here are so one sided. Do you know how many times I've seen adults nearly trample little kids? Or dart right in front of a stroller to get ahead of the crowd? The park strollers are not comfortable - all hard plastic with no fabric or cushion, very little storage, poor steering, poor sunshade, etc... Parents who can bring a more comfortable and convenient option should absolutely be allowed. If people can afford $1000 for a stroller they like, good for them. Remember people who can afford to take their family to Disney already are dropping plenty of cash - no suprise they can afford an expensive stroller. Stop victim blaming. Nothing justifies stealing. If you find the strollers annoying, reconsider spending your time at a family theme park.
May 15, 2017 at 3:16 AM · @Anthony Murphy - I saw someone with one at Universal Orlando one time while waiting in line at Hogwart's Express. Ran on a rechargeable battery and had charging ports for electronic devices, a bottle warmer, LED headlights and it folded and unfolded itself (motorized) with a touch of a button. Way cool, but also way over the top. I could easily see something like that being a theft target.
May 15, 2017 at 5:14 AM · I can't believe that anyone would actually "blame" the parents because they brought an expensive stroller to the park. Or the fact that they brought a stroller at all. You people are ridiculous....or have all been thieves at one time or another. What a sad world we live in where the victims are basically called the perpetrators. I shake my head in disgust. Shame on Michelle Craig of Spring Hills Florida. I hope you don't have children - what a great parent you would be....NOT
May 15, 2017 at 6:02 AM · Stolen strollers is not rare. What is rare is, in this case, the value of the stroller and the other belongings stolen. Because the stroller was worth over $1000, it became grand theft.

Stroller theft is not rare. The thief has other items, including strollers, sold on Craig's list. You think she's the only one?

You can't prevent stroller theft, but you can protect yourself. Get a GPS tracker and hide it on the stroller. And don't leave your belongs on an unattended stroller.

May 15, 2017 at 9:23 AM · This story highlights the whole Disney-bubble problem some people go to the parks with. Just because you're at Disney doesn't mean leave your common sense at home. Don't leave your wallet, keys, and necessary medications in an open stroller you numbskull!!
May 15, 2017 at 1:36 PM · Most of the kids I see in the strollers look miserable. How about you leave them with someone until they are old enough to enjoy and appreciate the park.
May 16, 2017 at 5:11 PM · so strollers in park are terrible but little kids being ran over by fat people on scooters is cool. Being smashed to the ground by a drunk at Epcot is cool but don't you dare take your toddler to Disney to
May 17, 2017 at 8:56 AM · Heck yeah, I dart in front of strollers. Your kid carriage is taking up most of the walking room and you and the fam are walking at incredibly slow rate trying to decide which attraction you want to ride next. Leave the strollers at home and let the little ones walk. If they can't hang the whole day oh well. Bring them back when they are older.
May 17, 2017 at 11:49 AM · " That's what you get for buying a $1000 stroller. Moron." Soooo... it's the fault of the stroller owner for having nice things? Makes sense...
May 17, 2017 at 11:55 AM · I just read a lot more of the comments... I am astounded at the hatred for people who like to spend their hard earned money on whatever they please.

Blame the victim because "they can afford it". Stupidity at its finest. I am betting some of the people making these comments are the ones who pack full suitcases full of drink boxes and snacks, and try to cheap out in every way possible.

May 17, 2017 at 1:47 PM · If I could ban all strollers in theme parks, I would.

"But my kids are loud, noisy and obnoxious and I don't want to deal with carrying them or have them complaining about walking!" Then you shouldn't bring your loud, noisy & obnoxious kids to theme parks.

The only strollers that should be allowed are the small umbrella variety that fold easily. And yes, you would be required to fold them instead of "parking" them.

May 19, 2017 at 10:06 AM · Yes we are criticizing the victim because... $1,800 bucks on a stroller. I would hate to see their credit card bill.
It's called an umbrella stroller, they fold and take up less space.
May 19, 2017 at 2:57 PM · David, that makes no sense... and I hate strollers... sounds more like jealousy than anything. Some people have a lot of disposable income and like to blow it on wasteful things...

No one needs and $1800 stroller, but they wanted one, so they bought it. The thief you are defending also stole their keys and other items. I think you are taking joy in seeing someone's vacation ruined because they have more than you do.

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