Woman leaves children alone inside apartment to go to Home Depot, police say

1-year-old, 3-year-old found wandering in parking lot of apartment complex


SUNRISE, Fla. – A woman was arrested Sunday for leaving her 3-year-old and 1-year-old children alone at home while she went to Home Depot, authorities said.

Sunrise police said officers were called to an apartment complex at 2330 NW 72nd Ave. after the two toddlers were found wandering around the parking lot.

According to an arrest report, a woman who lives at the apartment complex was approached by a passing driver who first spotted the children.

Police said the parking lot is adjacent to the Sunset Strip, which has heavy traffic in the area.

The driver pulled over and took the children to the courtyard of the apartment complex in an attempt to find their parents.

He then found a woman who lives at the apartment complex, who told him that she knew where they lived.

Police said the man left the children with the woman and left the area.

The woman told officers that she took the children to their apartment and saw that the front door was ajar.

She said she yelled into the home, but no one responded.

After a few minutes, she called police.

Police said they checked the apartment and found no one inside. 

According to the arrest report, the children's mother, Rose Petit Homme, 27, arrived about five minutes later, holding a Home Depot bag.

Police said Petit Homme told officers that she had to walk to the store to buy a tool to repair the sunroof on her vehicle and left the children home alone because they were sleeping.

Authorities said the children were alone for at least an hour and a half.

Police said the family's apartment is about 50 feet from the apartment complex's community pool, which is surrounded by a chain link fence.

However, police said the gate was not secure at the time, leaving the children in increasing danger. 

Petit Homme was arrested on two counts of child neglect.

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