A Florida mother left children in the car to shoplift at Dillard’s, cops say. Then came the fire

A Central Florida woman was arrested on Wednesday after leaving her children in the car outside a mall last Friday afternoon.

The incident happened outside the Oviedo Mall in Oviedo, about 20 miles north of Orlando, according to a police report from the local police department.

Authorities say around noon Alicia Moore, 24, parked her car, a white 2016 Lincoln four-door sedan, in the parking lot in front of Dillard, with her two children still in their seats.

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Inside the department store, Moore, who was with an unidentified male companion, began shoplifting for about an hour, loss prevention officers told police.

As Moore walked to the exit, Orlando’s wife saw her car “engulfed in flames” and dropped the stolen merchandise, the complaint reads.

The Oviedo Fire Department responded to the vehicle fire around 3 p.m., the city said.

When they arrived, the firefighters found the two children who had managed to escape with the help of good Samaritans. The minors (whose age and gender have not been revealed) were taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital in nearby Winter Park for treatment of burns and other injuries.

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The Lincoln was completely destroyed, with “no identifying marks,” the report said. Images from the scene show the extent of the destruction.

While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, police noted that had Moore “not been negligent” the children would have been safe. Officials also noted that the vehicle was stolen in St. Lucie County; separate charges for this case are pending.

Moore, who has an extensive rap sheet, was arrested and charged with arson and aggravated child abuse because she “knowingly and intentionally authorized [minors] who could not take care of themselves alone in the vehicle.

She is being held without bail; a hearing is set for June 15.

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