An April 5 affidavit indicated that a woman in Austin, Texas, left her two children in a car last year while she shoplifted. The children survived thanks to a Good Samaritan who spotted them and called 911, but the temperature inside the car had reached 100°F.
KVUE reports that Raquel Perez, 26, is accused of leaving her children, ages 3 and 21 months, in her car parked at a Walmart parking lot in Austin, off of East Ben White and Interstate 35. Police responded to the incident on May 5, 2016 at around 1:55 p.m., when the weather in Texas was scorching hot.
Witnesses found the the two children in the car prior to the officers arriving. They were responsive and coherent, but were stuck inside with the car doors locked. The oldest child was able to unlock the door from the inside with instructions from one of the witnesses. The witness then took the kids inside the store.
Authorities described the children as “very hot, sweaty and dirty.”
While watching Walmart surveillance footage, police determined that Perez entered the store at around 12:45 p.m. She left the store briefly, then walked back in to a nail salon inside the store. Surveillance footage captured her walking out of the nail salon and shoplifting in the store. Perez exited the store at around 2:45 p.m. She activated the anti-theft sensors but continued to her car, where she hid her stolen items. Afterwards, she walked back into the store to ask where her children were.
For reasons unknown, Perez wasn’t arrested that day. Police contacted around a week later and asked her about the incident, but she refused to talk about it, stating that she “didn’t want to discuss it.” Almost a year later, on April 4, 2017, police issued a warrant for her arrest.
Perez is charged with felony child endangerment. Police records do not indicate whether she was charged for shoplifting.
[Feature Photo: Austin Police Department]