Photo: John Benson and Sheakia Stubbs' 4-year-old son.
Cops also say the thieves used the child to create a diversion during the heist, and that the boy eventually helped identify the suspects – his own parents.
"I think it's reprehensible that in fact to make good on your escape you leave your 4-year-old behind," said Philadelphia Police Capt. Larry Nodiff to CBS affiliate KYW.
Police say 46-year-old John Benson and 31-year-old Sheakia Stubbs were looking at rings inside of the Platinum & Ice Jewelry Store in downtown Philadelphia Saturday when they grabbed an unattended jewelry tray and fled.
Photo: John Benson and Sheakia Stubbs.
The store clerk attempted to chase the suspects down the street, but was stopped when Benson allegedly produced a knife and slashed the clerk's face and neck. The suspects then separated and ran in different directions leaving their 4-year-old behind.
Investigators say the boy was picked up by the injured clerk, who was able to flag down a police officer for assistance.
Police say the child played a "major role" in identifying his parents as suspects. They were arrested Monday.
"He (the boy) had no idea what was going to happen, he's just an innocent child," said Nodiff.
The boy is in the custody of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services.
The injured clerk was treated and released from the hospital.