A naked 12-year-old girl seen eating from trash cans has stunned neighbors in Temecula, California, according to a report.

Neighbors apparently saw the naked girl eating food from trash cans and called 911, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

The girl was reportedly roaming through trash cans looking for food.

The LA Times reported that police arrested the girl's mother, Tracy Betts, 40, shortly after officers, acting on witness tips, searched for the girl Thursday and found her without clothes and sitting in a car parked near Vail Elementary school.

Police apparently determined the girl's identity and went to the Vail campus where her mother worked and took Betts into custody. The 12-year-old girl was placed into protective custody and treated at an area hospital, the newspaper reported.

Betts is a teaching assistant at Vail Elementary, the Press-Enterprise reported.

When the girl was seen naked and shoeless she was holding a piece of bread in her hand apparently taken from a trash can, the Press Enterprise reported, citing neighbor Dominique Prado who saw the girl. Prado told the newspaper the girl tried to cover herself with a car floor mat when she was spotted.

Prado and her husband said they gave the girl some food -- including yogurt, an apple, and a bottle of water -- while waiting for police to arrive. The Press-Enterprise reported that the girl ate the food and drank the water.

Police told Prado and her husband that the girl was apparently kept in the car, and left naked so she wouldn't leave while her mother was at work, the newspaper reported.