Alicia Moore, 24, parked outside a Dillard’s department store at the Oviedo Mall near Orlando, WRBW reported. Officials alleged she left her two children, ages 2 and 4, inside the vehicle as she went into the store with a man for the purpose of shoplifting.
“While inside Dillard’s, loss prevention (employees) observed Moore and another unknown male begin to shoplift items. They were watched by security for approximately one hour,” WESH-TV reported, citing an arrest report.
While Moore was walking toward the exit inside the store, she reportedly saw that the vehicle was on fire and dropped the stolen goods and ran out of the building toward the burning vehicle, police said.
One of the kids was able to open a door and a passerby who saw the vehicle on fire was able to rescue them. Both of the children were hospitalized, with one suffering first-degree burns on her face and ears.
Moore was arrested and charged with aggravated child neglect and arson. While investigators haven’t determined what sparked the blaze, Moore was charged with arson because the fire started while she was allegedly committing a felony, WESH-TV reported.
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Moore pleaded not guilty to both charges against her.
She was also wanted on outstanding warrants in Sumter County for charges of petty theft and battery of a person 65 years or older and in Orange County for attempting to elude enforcement with sirens and fleeing, officials said.
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