A Fort Walton Beach woman detained at a Destin department store for suspected shoplifting of multiple baby items failed to mention to deputies that she had left a 22-month old child in her vehicle unattended.
38-year old Jeana Barlas is now charged with petty theft, child neglect without great bodily harm, and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle for more than 15 minutes.
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the Belk store in Destin April 16th after a Loss Prevention Officer spotted Barlas walk out without paying for infant clothes, sippy cups, and other items worth approximately $300.
As the OCSO deputy was gathering her information in his patrol car, a 9-1-1 call came into Communications in reference to a crying child locked in a gray van outside the American Eagle store nearby. The van was not running and the windows were slightly down. Firefighters were on scene attempting to get inside to remove the boy from his child restraint seat.
Barlas then revealed to the deputy that it was her van and that she left the toddler while she went into the Belk store. Deputies say the youngster was left alone for approximately one hour.