Large Family Sneaks In Without Tickets, Accused Mother Claims She Didn’t Bring Her Children to the Universal Orlando Theme Parks

Just before Christmas, a mother pushing a stroller was accused of stealing theme park admission at the Universal gate, according to court documents.

Mary Anderson, 40, who lives in London, was charged with grand theft, a third-degree felony, after she was accused of not paying for nearly $1,000 worth of theme park tickets for herself and several children when she went through the turnstile last month.

Orlando Police Det. Patrick Cavanaugh, who was working an extra duty assignment at the theme park on December 18, said Universal security alerted him “that earlier in the day, a group of adults and juveniles had run through the entrance turnstiles without purchasing tickets. The security manager stated that Universal Studios wished to prosecute the adults in the group and trespass them, but that they only wanted to trespass the juveniles,” according to the Orlando Police arrest affidavit.

Three minors were caught at the entrance of Jurassic World VelociCoaster, the new thrill ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

The police detective watched surveillance video that “showed each of the three subjects proceed through the turnstiles without having their tickets scanned by employees. They appear to be accompanied by a woman pushing a stroller, another woman wearing a red dress, a man, and a small girl wearing teal shorts, all of whom security advised did not purchase tickets,” the arrest affidavit said.

“Security officers were able to find the video footage of a female pushing stroller with a woman in a red dress. These individuals are seen pushing through the turnstiles without having their tickets scanned. They are seen being stopped by an employee briefly, and then proceeding through the park,” the affidavit went on to say.

Universal security took a screenshot of the woman pushing the stroller and questioned the three children, showing them the image. The minors identified that woman as their mother, Mary Anderson.

Anderson arrived at the theme park security office, and Orlando police read her Miranda rights. 

“Ms. Anderson stated her children came to Universal Studios on today’s date with another person, and she had been at a party all day,” the arrest affidavit said. Police didn’t believe her.

“It is reasonable to believe that the children seen were under the direction of their mother,” the arrest affidavit said.

Orange Circuit Court records do not list Anderson’s attorney. She could not be reached for comment.

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