AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A mom was jailed after she left her three young kids in the car while she was inside an Augusta Walmart shoplifting. Now, deputies are trying to put a stop to folks leaving their kids in cars unattended.
Danielle Brooks is a mother of two, and she finds it hard to believe that people are leaving their young kids in cars.
"I feel like if you can neglect a child - three at that - lock her up, don't let her out, death penalty whatever," Brooks said.
Children in both South Carolina and Georgia have died in the past month from being left alone in hot vehicles.
"Do you feel how hot it is in here," Brooks said. "It's hot outside, so to leave them in the car while you're inside shoplifting, and you left them in a running car, people are crazy nowadays. Someone could have taken the kids and left."
Deputies say 23-year-old Lakesha Epps was arrested earlier this week after leaving her six-year-old, four-year-old and one-year-old in a running car. She was inside the Walmart on Wrightsboro Road, where she was caught shoplifting.
"Ultimately you're risking hurting your child," Sgt. Michael McDaniel, with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, said. "Killing your child. So, take heed and understand that if you continue to practice these kinds of acts, leaving your children alone in a car, you're risking going to jail."
Epps is facing deprivation of a minor and shoplifting charges.
Brooks said she hopes that parents realize the many dangers children face when they're left unattended in cars.
"That's basically the type of harm you put on your kids," Brooks said. "You left them in a vehicle. They could have passed out, someone could have took them, someone could have got out the car, walked into the road and got hit. Anything could have happened."