LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. (AP) — When a South Florida mother and her boyfriend were arrested on shoplifting charges, they didn’t mention that they had three children in their car parked outside a Lauderdale Lakes Wal-Mart store.

Broward Sheriff’s deputies arrested 30-year-old Tosheba Hope and 24-year-old Gerald Moultrie Monday night after the store’s security reported they tried to steal about $600 worth of tools and car accessories.

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But deputies didn’t find out about the children until around 2 a.m. Tuesday, when someone called 911 after seeing the children, ages 2, 7 and 9, crying in the car.

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A judge released the pair on their own recognizance and told them not to return to Wal-Mart. Authorities say they could now face child neglect charges. The children were not harmed and are in state custody.

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