A 51-year old woman used her 12- and 14-year old sons and their friends to commit at least 20 armed robberies in the Phoenix, Arizona area, according to authorities.

Cynthia Roberson, her two sons and five others are facing charges of armed robbery and assault.

"All of us should be disgusted by this," Phoenix police Sgt. Phil Roberts said. "This is absolutely not how to raise your children."

CNBC takes the "unemployed mom with bills to pay" angle and extends it as far as it will go:

While Wall Street is pontificating the proverbial recovery, it's still pretty bad out there for the average American. How bad is it? It's so bad that a recently unemployed mom in Phoenix allegedly guilted her sons into robbing people, is anyone else getting nervous here that moms are starting to crack under the pressure of this recession?. . . Moms, please. Listen to us: Crime isn't the answer!

I'm not sure whether CNBC is trying to be funny -- or just grasping for an economic connection, but isn't it a little messed up to suggest that a woman using her kids to commit armed robbery is just another outcome of the recession? If there's evidence of a cyclical increase in kid-assisted mommy mayhem, then I'd be happy to take a look -- but I somehow doubt that there is. Bad people without moral compasesses do bad, immoral things in any economy, and it's pretty lame to dump the guilt for 20 counts of armed robbery with sawed-off shotguns at the feet of a rough economy.


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