A Florida mother has been accused of shoplifting while her car caught fire with her unattended children inside.
Alicia Moore, 24, is facing charges of aggravated child neglect and arson following the 26 May incident in Seminole County. She is not believed to have initiated the fire but was charged with the latter count because the blaze took place while she was allegedly committing a felony, NBC affiliate WESH 2 reports.
According to her arrest report, Ms Moore parked her vehicle at a parking lot on Oviedo Mall Boulevard and went inside a Dillard’s store.
Loss prevention personnel then witnessed Ms Moore and an unnamed man allegedly stealing merchandise for an hour.
The mother-of-two was met with an alarming scene when she exited the store as shoppers tried to help her children out of the car engulfed in flames. Ms Moore dropped the items she had allegedly shoplifted and ran toward her kids.
The children were taken to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, where a girl was treated for first-degree burns to her face and ears, according to police.
The cause of the fire has not been determined, but the arrest report noted that “if [Ms] Moore was not being neglectful, it is unlikely [the children] would have been injured.”
Ms Moore faced charges of petty theft, battery and assault from unrelated incidents in Orange County and Sumter County.
She was arrested by the Seminole County Sheriff`s Office and later charged for the incident involving her children.
Ms Moore has pleaded not guilty to charges of child neglect and arson and is being held in jail on a $48,000 bond.
Her next court hearing is scheduled for August.