Police: Mom left baby in car while stealing cheese from Publix

Woman faces child neglect charges


ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Altamonte Springs police have charged a mother with child neglect after they say she left her child in the car for almost a hour while going into Publix to steal cheese.

Police said Anna Alvarez, 31, was being questioned by police Friday night after Publix employees said she picked up three packages of cheese and put them in her purse. Police were called to the Publix and said they were going to let Alvarez off before they realized she had committed another crime.

During questioning, Alvarez told police about her 5-month-old child being in her car, according to the report.

When police approached the locked car, the windows were up and the child was sitting in a car seat crying and screaming loudly, according to the report. Police said in the report the child, "appeared to be physically upset and cold, due to the fact the child had no blanket and the temperature was decreasing."

The child appeared to have been in the car since Alvarez walked into the store on State Road 434 at 7:20 p.m., until authorities brought her outside the store at 8:15 p.m. Police and employees said Alvarez only mentioned having a 3-year-old staying with grandparents, not another child.

Child Protective Services was contacted and the child's father came to pick up the child. Alvarez was taken to Seminole County Jail where she was being held on $2,000 bond.

Publix had originally requested to press charges but it's not clear if the charges were filed.