Mom left boy in car to steal Valentine's items from Target, police say

Cops say 6-year-old was left in car for 45 minutes with car off, windows up


TITUSVILLE, Fla. – A Titusville woman was arrested on child neglect and retail theft charges, police say, after she left her 6-year-old in the car while she shoplifted Valentine's items from Target.

26-year-old Patricia Waddell made her first court appearance Tuesday afternoon at the Brevard County Jail.

Target employees say they saw the boy in the car around 5:30 p.m. Monday with the windows rolled up and the car turned off.

At first, police said they thought Waddell was shopping inside the Target. But after officers arrested her on child neglect charges, they searched her belongings and found $15 worth of stolen Valentine's Day merchandise.

Arrest documents show Waddell is currently on probation and was supposed to appear in court Wednesday on another retail theft allegation, but because she was arrested Monday, it was canceled.

The judge told Waddell on Tuesday she isn't allowed to have unsupervised contact with the 6-year-old and is banned from all Targets in Brevard County.

The child wasn't hurt and is staying with his grandmother.

The Department of Children and Families is investigating.

About the Author: