June 3 (UPI) — A Florida woman has been charged with aggravated child abuse and arson after allegedly leaving her children inside her car which caught on fire as she was in a store attempting to shoplift merchandise.
Alicia Moore, 24, parked her car in the lot of a Dillard’s department store in Oviedo, Fla., on May 26, leaving her children inside, according to a probable cause affidavit for her arrest obtained by WESH-TV.
While inside Dillard’s, members of the store’s loss prevention team saw Moore and an unidentified man concealing items to steal over the course of an hour, police said.
As Moore walked towards the store’s exit, she saw her car engulfed in flames and dropped the merchandise she allegedly intended to leave with, they alleged.
A shopper at the mall saw the burning vehicle and helped one of the children escape before trying to save another youngster and notifying 911.
Authorities said the children were rushed to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital for medical attention, where one of them was determined to have suffered several first-degree burns to her face and ears.
It was not immediately clear how the fire started but the car was completely destroyed, police said.
Moore was subsequently arrested by officers on an outstanding warrant from a separate incident in nearby Sumter County, Fla., for petty theft and battery of a person 65 or older, jail records show.
She has pleaded not guilty to her charges and her bond has been set at $48,000, CNN reported.