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CHILDREN LEFT ALONE, MOTHER FACES CHARGES

A Rounds Avenue mother left her two young children unattended in a filthy apartment, police say.

Monique McDaniel, 24, was arrested Tuesday night and accused of leaving her 6-year-old son and 4-month-old daughter alone at about 10:30 p.m. in their second-floor residence in the 100 block of Rounds while she went on a shopping spree, according to Lt. Larry J. Baehre, police spokesman.

"Upon a search of the apartment, which was uninhabitable, officers found a small amount of marijuana," Baehre said. "When booking her, they discovered she had in her possession a fraudulently obtained credit card she had used on the almost $400 shopping spree at a local discount store."

Northeast District Officers Martin Sentiff and Mark Donovan went to the home after a neighbor called 911 to say that two children had been abandoned, Baehre said.

The children were placed in the custody of Erie County Child Protective Services.

McDaniel was charged with endangering the welfare of her children, petit larceny, possession of marijuana and possession of a forged credit card.

"Officers discovered that the credit card, to date, has been used to make almost $1,000 in purchases," Baehre said.

In attempting to locate the purchased merchandise, Sentiff and Donovan interviewed Tashima Watkins, 23, who lives in the lower apartment in the same building.

"She went on the shopping spree with McDaniel and told the officers that she had paid cash for the items, but when officers showed her credit card receipts that matched the items, she admitted McDaniel bought them with the credit card," Baehre said.

Watkins was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and criminal facilitation.

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