Police: Woman left baby in hot car while she shoplifted

Police: Woman left baby in hot car while she shoplifted

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro woman faces a felony child endangerment charge after police say she left her one-month-old baby in a hot car while she shoplifted.

Just after 3 p.m. Monday, Officer Blake Anderson responded to Dillard's, 3000 E. Highland, regarding a suspected shoplifter.

When he arrived, Anderson said a mall security officer was out with the suspect's vehicle with a baby inside. Corporal David McDaniel, public information officer for the Jonesboro Police Department, confirmed to Region 8 News that the baby was one month old.

Another officer came out with the vehicle key and opened the door.

"The inside of the vehicle was hot," Anderson noted in his initial incident report. "Victim was warm to the touch and appeared to be sweating."

The officer placed the infant in his car to cool off then called the Department Children and Family Services.

Two DCFS caseworkers came to the scene and took custody of the baby.

After reviewing security video, Anderson determined the suspect, later identified as 19-year-old Sabrina Phommarath, was inside the store for more than 40 minutes while the infant was in the vehicle alone.

Store employees told the officer they saw Phommarath enter the changing room with three pairs of pants and a shirt, but left with two pairs of pants and nothing left in the room.

The security officer stopped Phommarath and recovered the stolen merchandise, the report said.

Anderson arrested Phommarath and took her to the Craighead County Detention Center where she was booked on suspicion of first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and shoplifting less than $1,000.

On Tuesday, Craighead County District Judge Tommy Fowler found probable cause existed at the time of her arrest to charge her. Noting her lack of a criminal history, the judge released Phommarath on her own recognizance. She's due in circuit court on Nov.22.

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