Woman accused of shoplifting, leaving children in car that caught fire at Oviedo Mall

Alicia Moore, 24, faces charges of arson, child neglect

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A woman was arrested in Seminole County on Wednesday after her car caught fire near the Oviedo Mall while two children were inside, according to police.

Police said that on May 26 around noon, 24-year-old Alicia Moore parked her car in the parking lot of Dillard’s at the Oviedo Mall. She then left the car with the children inside to go into the Dillard’s, police added.

Once in the Dillard’s, security workers watched as Moore began shoplifting along with another male for about an hour, an affidavit shows.

According to the affidavit, Moore started to leave the Dillard’s with the stolen merchandise — only to see the car, which was stolen out of St. Lucie County, “engulfed in flames.” Moore then dropped the merchandise, police said.

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Video in the media player above shows flames gradually engulf the car and break through the window.

Investigators said that other shoppers at the mall had seen the fire and helped rescue those in the car. Several 911 calls were released on Friday that reveal witness’ accounts of what happened.

“There was a car — I don’t know, somehow is on fire outside at the parking lot at Dillard’s,” a caller can be heard saying. “And there was two kids and a mom, and I think she realized there was a child still in the car, and the car is completely engulfed in flames.”

First responders arrived at the scene to find the car completely totaled, and the children were rushed to Arnold Palmer Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, officials said.

A burning car at Oviedo Mall, courtesy of the city of Oviedo. (City of Oviedo)

While police said they weren’t sure what caused the fire, they determined that if Moore “was not being neglectful,” it was likely that the children wouldn’t have been injured.

She was later arrested by the Orlando Police Department on an unrelated warrant, though Oviedo police eventually brought her into their own custody.

Moore faces charges of child neglect with great bodily harm and first-degree arson in the Oviedo Mall case. For those charges, she is held on $40,000 bond.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.