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Long IslandCrime

Mom left kids unattended in car outside Levittown Walmart, police say

A Bethpage woman was arrested and charged with child endangerment after Nassau County police said she left her two children — including a 3-year-old — in a vehicle with the engine running outside a Levittown Walmart on Tuesday.

Police said officers responding to a 911 call at about 7:15 p.m. found the unattended children in a vehicle stopped in the fire lane of the Walmart parking lot on Hempstead Turnpike. The 3-year-old was strapped into a car seat, a 9-year-old was in the back seat, and the keys were in the vehicle ignition with the engine running.

The officers gained entrance to the vehicle through an unlocked door and were able to remove the two kids, uninjured, police said.

Police said the mother, identified as Erika Martinez, 29, returned to the vehicle about an hour after officers arrived and was arrested. She was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and now faces arraignment Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead.

It was not clear if she was represented by counsel.

The children were released to the custody of a family member, police said.

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