Mother arrested after leaving 5 kids in hot car

Monica Soto, 27, charged with 5 counts of child endangerment

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio woman has been arrested after police said she left her five children in a hot car on Tuesday.

The woman has been identified as 27-year-old Monica Soto.

Police arrested Soto around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the HEB parking lot on Castroville Road. 

Several witnesses called police after seeing the five kids in Soto's car with the windows rolled up and the doors locked. 

They say the kids were in the car for at least 30 minutes. 

She initially told police that a friend was watching the kids, but minutes later, she confessed that there was no friend.

Soto's neighbor, Mary Carmen, herself a young mother, said there is no reason to leave children alone in a car.

“If the car is hot, I leave the doors open for a little bit and then (tell them), 'Come on, boys, we can get in the car now,' and we all get in together. I never leave them there," said Carmen. “I have two boys. I wouldn't even think about it. Oh my god, I want to cry right now. How could a mother do that?"

Soto does have a criminal past that includes theft and interfering with duties of a public servant. 

On Tuesday night, she added five counts of child abandonment. 

She’s currently being held at the Bexar County Jail. Her bail is set at $10,000 -- $2,000 for each count.

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