Police say a shoplifter who had five children with her hit a store employee with her car while trying to drive away from a store in St. Louis County.

The 49-year-old female employee at a Menard's near Ballwin was hospitalized in critical but stable condition with a head injury Thursday.

St. Louis County police spokesman Benjamin Granda says the woman and children loaded a cart with several items Wednesday night before one of the older children pushed the cart out of the store without paying and the group rushed toward a car.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports police say the woman injured a man's face when she grabbed his phone as he took a picture of her before she got into the car. She then allegedly it hit the employee while driving away.