Officers in Polk County, Florida, arrested a 36-year-old man Thursday after they say he completed a multi-day string of crimes—some of them in the company of an 8-year-old boy. The charges included burglary of an occupied dwelling, burglary of unoccupied conveyance, grand theft motor vehicle, and several crimes related to his bringing a minor child along with him. Asked why he had brought the child along, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said he replied: “I was trying to toughen him up. I don’t want him to be soft.”
“Taking a child out with you while you’re committing felonies is not the proper way to create a positive influence,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a press release. “I’m quite confident that there is not a child psychologist out there who would agree with this guy’s idea of proper activity for a child.” Police said the child was eventually reunited with his family. They did not specify his relation to the arrested man.