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Nanny left baby alone, police say

Allegedly went on shopping trip in family's car

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. -- A nanny left a year-old toddler home alone while she went Christmas shopping in the family Mercedes, apparently not expecting the little girl's mother to pop into the house while she was out, police said yesterday.

''She said the baby was a good sleeper," Eastchester police Lieutenant William Curran said. ''I guess she was gambling nothing would go wrong."

Victoria Braithwaite, 27, was arrested upon her return Wednesday and charged with reckless endangerment, endangering a child, and using a car without permission, Curran said.

He said police were called about 11:30 a.m. by the girl's mother, Vivian Lem, who had left the baby with the nanny about 8:40 a.m.

The baby was safe in her crib when the mother returned to the home in the New York City suburb.

''We figured she was coming back because she left her own car in the driveway when she took the Mercedes," Curran said.

''She wanted to go fancy, I suppose," he said.

He said Braithwaite did not have a lawyer when she was arraigned Wednesday night in Town Court.

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