A Central Florida woman was arrested Wednesday after leaving her kids in the car outside a mall last Friday afternoon.
The incident went down outside Oviedo Mall in Oviedo, about 20 miles north of Orlando, according to a police report from the local police department.
Scary scene in Oviedo after a car with two children inside caught on fire. Police tell us the children were alone while their mother was inside shopping. They were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The car had been reported stolen. @fox35orlando https://t.co/QM8j5CExE0
— Amy Kaufeldt FOX 35 (@Fox35Amy) May 29, 2023
Authorities say that at around noon, 24-year-old Alicia Moore parked her car, a 2016 white Lincoln four door sedan, in the lot outside Dillard’s, with her two kids still in their seats.
Inside the department store, Moore, who was with an unidentified male companion, began to shoplift for about an hour, loss prevention officers told police.
As Moore made her way to the exit, the Orlando woman saw her car “engulfed in flames” and dropped the stolen merchandise, reads the complaint.
The Oviedo Fire Department responded to the vehicle fire around 3 p.m., the city said.
When firefighters arrived, they found the two children who had managed to escape with the help of Good Samaritans. The juveniles (whose ages and gender were not released) were transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital in nearby Winter Park for treatment of burns and other injuries.
The Lincoln was completely totaled, with “no identifying marks,” says the report. Footage from the scene shows the scale of the destruction.
While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, police noted that if Moore “was not being neglectful,” the kids would have been safe. Officials also noted that the vehicle was stolen out of St. Lucie County; separate charges for that case are pending.
Moore, who has a lengthy rap sheet, was arrested and charged with arson and aggravated child abuse, as she “knowingly and intentionally allowed [minors] who could not care for themselves alone in the vehicle.”
She is being held on no bond; a hearing is set for June 15.