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“This was no accidental case,” Mom arrested after kids found in hot car in Oklahoma City mall parking garage

OKLAHOMA CITY - A mother is in trouble with the law after a close call. Her kids were found locked in a hot car at Penn Square Mall, and police said it was no accident.

A good Samaritan found the kids on the first floor of the parking garage at the mall. Police said the windows were unrolled about 4-5 inches but it was simply still far too hot.

"The inside of the car appeared to be in excess of 100 degrees - way too hot for kids to be in there," said MSgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department. "The kids never should have been left alone anyway."

When police got to the scene Sunday, they found the two kids in the car: a boy who was about 4 or 5 years old and a girl who was between 1 and 2.

Both were soaked with sweat, the little was in the front seat looking out the window. Police said both children looked very tired.

"You cannot leave small children unattended in a vehicle - especially when it's hot like this," Knight said. "It makes a bad situation even more dangerous."

The woman who found the kids said the little girl was on the floor crying when she found them.

Police said it was 91 degrees outside the car so they estimate it was 101 degrees inside. The kids didn't have any water either.

"This was no accidental case," Knight said. "She purposefully left the kids in the car so she could go inside for awhile."

Police soon found out the car belonged to the children's grandparents. Enid police said their mom, 26-year-old Samantha Pitts, took off in their car with the kids days earlier.

The kids were taken to OU Children's hospital to be checked out. They are expected to be okay.

"We don't want to see kids in the car, we don't want to see pets left in a vehicle this time of year," Knight said. "We don't want to see anybody left in a vehicle."

Pitts was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail for child neglect.

She had permission to drive her parents' car and will not face charges for that.

The children were handed over to their grandparents.