Police: Mom left soiled toddlers inside car while shopping - FOX Carolina 21

Police: SC mom left soiled toddlers inside car while shopping at Walmart

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Audrey Atkinson (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center) Audrey Atkinson (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center)
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An Upstate mother is accused of leaving her two toddler-aged children alone in an unlocked car with drug paraphernalia while she shopped at the Greer Walmart, according to police.

Greer police said they were called to the East Wade Hampton Boulevard store about 10:40 p.m. Sunday when someone reported seeing the kids alone in the car, and one of them was screaming.

The responding officer said in his report that as he approached the SUV, he could hear the child's loud scream from inside his patrol car.

Police said a young boy and girl were sitting in their carseats and a bag was left on the front seat that had meth, needles and other drug paraphernalia inside.

The boy was screaming while the girl was unconscious and was breathing weakly, police said. Paramedics responded to check out the children, who had soiled themselves, according to the report.

A few minutes after the officer's arrival, police said the toddlers' mom approached with a cart full of items. She identified herself as 37-year-old Audrey Atkinson, whom the officer said he recognized in previous dealings, the report stated.

Atkinson tried to get to her children but then complied with officers and was taken into custody, police said. The report stated after she was mirandized, she admitted to using meth and leaving the kids in the car while she shopped because they were asleep.

The report stated officers believed some items in Atkinson's purse had not been paid for and when they reviewed the store's surveillance, it showed her shoplifting and that she entered the store alone at 10:12 p.m. and then left at 10:50 p.m.

The children were placed in emergency protective custody and checked out before later released into their father's custody, police said.

Police said Atkinson was arrested and charged with unlawful conduct towards a child, shoplifting, possession of drug paraphernalia and an additional drug charge was pending the outcome of test results.

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