Parents are speaking out after the arrest of three suspects accused of stealing baby formula from several Columbia Co. stores.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Parents are speaking out after three people were arrested and charged with stealing dozens of cans of baby formula from several stores in Columbia County.

Jose Salvador Solis-Hernandez, Dulce Maria Tovar-Sanchez and Angel Jesus Preza-Gonzales now face shoplifting charges, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Department.

The three suspects were arrested Thursday by Columbia County deputies at the Kroger located on Jimmie Dyess Parkway after receiving calls from other stores reporting stolen goods.

Deputies say they used license plate readers and traffic cameras to track the car to that Kroger.

Authorities say the suspects stole what could be more than $5,000 worth of baby formula from nearby stores such as Walmart, Kroger and Publix.

Parents say they are shocked that people would do this, especially when some babies need a specific type of formula.

“It's pretty upsetting to hear that someone would take formula from an innocent little baby,” says Matt, a local parent. “She has had many milk allergies, so it was very difficult to find a formula that was safe for her. »

Others say they still remember the formula shortage in 2022 and don't want to go through that again.

“I don't think anyone should steal anything, especially formula, because people need it and they need to be able to access it,” says Vicki Evans, another local parent. “And if it’s stolen and no one can get to it, then we have to live without it.”

Authorities have not disclosed why the suspects stole that amount of formula, but other options were on the table.

“There are ways for people to get help if they need to get formula,” Evans says. “There are many programs, such as WIC, and if you contact the county, they can provide you with assistance. There's no reason to steal it.

Authorities say the suspects are currently in the Columbia County Detention Center.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office says this is an ongoing investigation and authorities are working to return the stolen formula.

Augusta Partnership for Children offers resources for struggling parents.

For more information you can visit

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