The kids were left alone for about 40 minutes. Another shopper called the police when she saw one of the children walking around the parking lot. Police say Patricia Smith, 27, left her seven-year-old and two-year-old alone in her car at the Canandaigua Walmart around 10 p.m. Friday. Smith is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Troopers say it took some time to find the mother.
"A customer of the store observed the seven-year-old walking around, probably searching for his mother. They talked to the youngster and got information and contacted the State Police," Trooper Mark O'Donnell said. "We went down, continued to look for the mother. We located her approximately 40 minutes later."
"People may think it's harmless just to do it for a minute or two but it's not. They are children and they can be taken. They are your children. Be responsible. If you're going to the store, take them in the store or get a babysitter. At no time should a child be left alone, unattended, anywhere," O'Donnell said.
Smith is scheduled to appear in the town of Hopewell Court Tuesday.