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Mother arrested, accused of using kids to beg for money

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Updated: 10/07/2013 8:01 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A mother of four is in jail on charges of resisting arrest and soliciting in parking lots and buildings.

Police say she used her children to beg for money.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office took a call about a woman and several small children panhandling at the Oak Leaf Town Center on Friday afternoon.

Alina Antonescu, 25, told police she was only asking for work. But an officer found $200 in cash and 11 gift cards from various businesses.

The arresting officer told the woman he was going to arrest her for panhandling and obstructing traffic and asked her over and over to get into the patrol car.  She refused.

The officer also noticed her children running in and out of the street.

The officer then put her in handcuffs and carried her to the patrol car.

The children started crying.  The officer called their father who gathered up the children.

Police say officers warned Antonescu multiple times in the past not to panhandle.  They've also seen her panhandling in the hot sun with her children, aged 9, 6, 5 and 2, for hours at a time.

Each time, she's assured police her kids had food and water, according to the arrest report.
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