Deputies: Mom left kids in car while she shoplifted

Deputies: Mom left kids in car while she shoplifted

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - An Augusta mom is facing charges after Richmond County deputies said she left her three children in a running car while she shoplifted from Walmart.

A deputy working special duty at the Walmart on Wrightsboro Road said an employee reported that Lakesha Noreen Epps, 23, and another woman, Brittany Nicole Washington, 26, were stuffing items into a box with another piece of merchandise, according to a report.

The women went to the self-checkout lane but only paid for some of the items, according to a report. The deputy stopped the women and the exit and found about $77 of items that were not paid for, including hearing aid batteries, headphones and cordless phone batteries.

While the deputy was questioning the women, he received a call about three unsupervised children - ages 1, 4 and 6 - in and near a running car in the parking lot, according to the report. Another deputy was sent to escort the children inside.

Epps, the mother of the children, told deputies she left the three boys in the car with two adult friends, according to the report. The sheriff's office investigation revealed that the children were unsupervised between noon and 1:45 p.m.

Epps was arrested on charges of shoplifting and three counts of deprivation of a minor, according to the report. Washington was arrested on a shoplifting charge.

The children were turned over to Epps' aunt.

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