Woman’s car catches fire with kids inside while allegedly shoplifting

By 1news.co.nz

A Florida woman faces charges of aggravated child neglect and arson after her car became engulfed in flames while she was allegedly shoplifting at a mall, according to an arrest report.

A car which caught on fire outside Dillard’s department store at Oviedo Mall in Oviedo, Florida. (Source: Oviedo Police Department)

Alicia Moore, 24, parked her car in a parking lot outside a Dillard’s department store at Oviedo Mall on May 26, according to an arrest report filed by the Oviedo Police Department.

The report indicated Moore left the children inside the vehicle. Their names and ages were redacted.

Security saw Moore and an unknown man shoplifting in Dillard’s, according to the report. After about an hour, Moore began leaving Dillard’s to see her car engulfed in flames and dropped the merchandise before she left the store.

Bystanders at the mall saw the car and rescued the children inside, trying to escape the flames.

The children were taken to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. One child suffered first-degree burns “to her face and ears”, the arrest report said.

Moore has been charged with aggravated child neglect for allegedly allowing children who could not care for themselves alone inside the vehicle, according to the report.

Police said they don’t know what caused the fire but said it’s unlikely the children would be injured if Moore “was not being neglectful”.

Moore was charged with arson because the fire occurred while she was allegedly committing a felony, the arrest report said.

The public defender’s office was representing Moore, according to court records.

An email seeking comment was sent to the office late Saturday was not immediately returned.

Moore is being held on US$40,000 (NZ$66,000) bail.

A public defender filed a motion yesterday asking for Moore to be released without bail or to have the bail amount reduced “to a reasonable and affordable amount”.

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