Police say La Grange mom left kids alone in car so she could go - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police say La Grange mom left kids alone in car so she could go shoplifting

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Amber Stepp (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections) Amber Stepp (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police say a La Grange mom was arrested Sunday afternoon after she left her children alone in a car while she was shoplifting at Walmart.

It happened at the Walmart on Raggard Road, near the Greenbelt Highway, just after 3 p.m., according to an arrest report.

In a yellow jumpsuit, 26-year-old Amber Stepp pleaded not guilty to charges of wanton endangerment, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft.

"Subject says she did admit to leaving her children in the car unattended due to her shoplifting," the judge said in court, reading the arrest report aloud.
 
Just a day before on a sunny and hot Father's Day, police say she left her 8-month-old and 7-year-old children in a running car at the Walmart on Raggard Road. Police don't know how long the children had been in the car, or if the car had A/C.

Walmart says when Stepp was stopped for shoplifting, she told employees she had her two children in the car and that's when an employee brought them inside. 

"I think it's crazy," said Wendell Polk, a shopper. "It's ridiculous. It's too hot...shouldn't be leaving them in the vehicle anyway of course. You shouldn't leave a child unattended."
 
"That's a double-whammy," said William Winstead, another shopper. "You leave your child unattended and then you're shoplifting. She's going to get hit twice."
 
Police don't know what she stole at Walmart, but say it was under $500. Officers found a meth pipe and two spoons in her purse. She is asking the judge to be released from jail.

"Ms. Stepp is telling me she does have a child in her care who is disabled," said Stepp's attorney in court this morning. "She is concerned about being able to care for him. So, if the court could consider home incarceration..."

The judge hasn't ruled on that request yet, but did set her bond at $1,000 full-cash.

Walmart says Child Protective Service was called and the store is cooperating with police on the investigation.

"As a parent, it's common sense," Winstead said. "You wouldn't leave your kids in a car, even if windows are down. They're unattended by an adult unsupervised. You risk their life by leaving them in a hot car, not the smartest thing to do."
 
Stepp is expected back in court at the end of the month.

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