SPRINGVILLE, Utah -- What started as a complaint of a mother shoplifting turned into something much more serious Friday.
Police said she abandoned her children outside a Springville Wal-Mart.
Kaylee Vizcarra, 25, could face a felony child abandonment charge. Cops said she was willing to go to jail without telling anyone her kids were left in a truck in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
"She was trying to steal clothing, so she was trying to conceal clothing and take it," said Lt. Dave Caron with the Springville Police Department.
Store security cameras caught the Payson mom in the act, police said, and then she allegedly confessed to shoplifting.
"As the officer was talking to her he was trying to determine if she was alone, if she had an accomplice, how she got to the store so he started to question her about that,” Caron said. “She insisted she had been dropped off and was going to call a friend to come get her.”
Police said the mother repeatedly insisted her kids weren't with her even after her sister arrived on scene.
Caron said: "In the meantime, loss prevention folks were reviewing surveillance video and said, ‘you know, I think she came out from a car in the parking lot, and I think there's something in it.’ So our officers were expecting to find maybe an accomplice, and in the car they found 5 children, ages 18 months to 12 years.”
The children were left in a truck with the engine running and the air conditioning on, police said.
"Fortunately, because the engine was running, they weren't in dire straits physically, emotionally they were a mess," Caron said. "Her attitude was 'I don't have any kids here' that's kinda the way she was, I don't understand it."
Police are grateful Wal-Mart security officers spotted the vehicle and tipped off police. Cops said the kids were in the vehicle at least 45 minutes. They're now with a relative and while their mother has bailed out of jail, Springville police said the Division of Child and Family Services will be investigating.