Mechanicsburg woman accused of leaving boy, 5, alone in car to shop

A Mechanicsburg woman has been accused of leaving a 5-year-old boy alone in her car while shopping earlier this month.

Tabitha A. Smith, 31, of 310 Pleasantview Estates, pleaded not guilty to a single count of child endangering and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 18, according to court records.

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A report from the Urbana Police Division says officers were dispatched to the Kroger parking lot, 1637 E. U.S. 36 in Urbana, shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2. Officers alleged they found a young boy asleep in the back of the vehicle with the doors unlocked.

It was raining outside and some of the windows were down. By the time officers arrived, the child had been in the vehicle for about 30 minutes unattended, the report alleges.

Officers waited with the boy for another half-hour when Smith returned from shopping. Smith allegedly apologized, according to the report, and said she had come to the store along with her mother and another 3-year-old child. The 5-year-old became fussy so she allegedly left him in the car while she shopped, according to the report.

She allegedly agreed with police she shouldn’t have left the child alone, the report says.

Police also notified Champaign County Children’s Services about the incident.


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