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Police say couple left 2-year-old in car while they went Christmas shopping

November 24, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The mother of a 2-year-old child and her boyfriend were charged Friday morning after the child was found alone in a vehicle during the midnight Black Friday shopping event at Prime Outlets at Hagerstown, according to a Washington County Sheriff's Department press release.

Laura Ashley Havens, 20, of 11450 Pine Hill Drive in Waynesboro, Pa., was charged with one count each of reckless endangerment and confining an unattended child, deputies said.

Her boyfriend, Casey Byrnes Shields, 22, of the same address, was charged with one count each of confining an unattended child, reckless endangerment, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, deputies said.

The toddler was found about 2:45 a.m., crying inside a locked car that was not running, deputies said.

Emergency workers opened the vehicle, which was parked in a lot near the food court at Prime Outlets.

The child was taken to Washington County Hospital for observation, and later was released to a family member of the mother's boyfriend, deputies said.

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The sheriff's department also reported two thefts at Prime Outlets early Friday.

Officers with the Hagerstown Police Department were on patrol at local shopping centers Friday, but no major problems were reported, Sgt. Chad Woodring said Friday afternoon.

Last year, a near-riot occurred when Circuit City opened, but no such problems were reported Friday.

"We were on top of it this year," Woodring said.

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