Alarming Number of Cars Stolen with Kids Inside

.jpg photo of kids and cars graphicThings can go wrong in mere seconds
when a child is left alone in a vehicle

#Vehicles Are Not #BabySitters

Cars are being stolen with children alone in the back seat all over the country far too often and in some of the most unexpected places. Families are being traumatized and expensive AMBER Alerts are being issued as a result of these easily preventable incidents.

Last month, KidsAndCars.org documented 17 children (+ 4 cases involving dogs) who were taken in a stolen vehicle, one resulting in the tragic death of a teen.  In 2019, KidsAndCars documented over 200 children taken in stolen vehicles nationwide.

Thieves watch for vehicles to be left unattended with the engine running or the keys inside.  Most of the time, they don’t realize that there is a child inside until after they have stolen the vehicle.  Car thefts happen even in the safest neighborhoods, outside homes, convenience stores, grocery stores, daycares, restaurants, etc.  It only takes a few seconds for a car thief to jump into a vehicle and be gone.  Children and pets should never be left alone inside of a vehicle, not even for a minute.

“Although the victims of these types of incidents typically survive, it is incredibly distressing for everyone involved.  Because this is easily preventable, we can avoid the unnecessary trauma and use of precious law enforcement resources by simply never leaving children alone in vehicles.” said Janette Fennell, president and founder of KidsAndCars.org.

On February 6, a 13-year-old Wichita, KS girl was dragged to death trying to escape the backseat of her family SUV that was stolen while her family went inside to grab food.

Below are the details on the cases KidsAndCars.org documented last month.

02/28/21 – Chicago, IL – Children 5 & 7 – Parked on street, kids called Mom from tablet, found shortly after.

02/24/21 – Renton, WA – Girl 5 – Grocery Store, AMBER Alert, found unharmed.

02/17/21 – Cleveland, OH – Girl 3, Boy 4 – Parked on street, thief left Children along road nearby.

02/16/21 – St. Paul, MN – Children 2 & 4 – Apartment, thief left children outside in cold.

02/16/21 – Valrico, FL – Girl 1 – Driveway of residence, found 2 hours later.

02/15/21 – Honolulu, HI – Infant – Gas station, found along road shortly after.

02/12/21 – Madison, WI – Child – Restaurant, thief abandoned child in car nearby minutes later.

02/09/21 – Columbus, OH – Boy 4 mos – Daycare, AMBER Alert.

02/09/21 – Cayce, SC – Girl 2, puppy – Hotel circle drive, found 3 hours later 11 miles away in car.

02/07/21 – St. Paul, MN – Girl 6 – Walgreens, thief left girl in car a few blocks away.

02/06/21 – San Francisco, CA – Girl 4, Boy 1 – Residence, AMBER Alert issued, children found 4 hrs later.

02/06/21 – Minneapolis, MN , Boy 1 – Church, AMBER Alert, found nearby 2.5 hrs later.

02/06/21 – Wichita, KS – Girl 13 – Restaurant, FATAL

The cost of car theft.

In 2018 alone, 748,841 vehicles were stolen in the United States, costing vehicle owners more than $6 billion according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

AMBER Alerts and extensive search operations for car theft kidnapping cases have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.   One estimate out of Memphis, TN reported the cost to be over $71,000 in the search for a missing baby taken in a vehicle in March, 2018.

Most importantly, the safety and well-being of children is priceless.

State Laws

There are currently 21 states that have laws making it illegal to leave children unattended inside vehicles.  However, it is important for parents and caregivers to understand that in any state, a person can face child endangerment or neglect charges for leaving a child alone in a vehicle, even if the state does not have a law specifically making it illegal.

Additionally, at least 30 states and some municipalities have varying laws making it illegal to leave vehicles running unattended.  These are commonly referred to as anti-idling laws and also help protect the environment.

Tips for parents and caregivers:

  • Never leave a child alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute.
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved.  Call 911 immediately.  If the child is in distress, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
  • Utilize drive-thru or curbside services that don’t require you to leave your vehicle.
  • If a business doesn’t offer curbside delivery, call upon arrival and ask them to bring your order to your car.  Most people are more than happy to accommodate when you tell them you have small children.
  • Keep car doors locked every time you step away from your vehicle and any time you’re sitting inside a parked car.
  • Understand that a running vehicle can be driven away even if the key fob is not inside the vehicle.

Car Theft Video PSA:  http://youtu.be/mTa98jQfYTg
 
There are far too many devastating tragedies that could have easily been prevented had a child not been left alone in a vehicle.  Besides being abducted during a car theft, children are injured by knocking cars into gear, suffer from heatstroke, become strangled by power windows and seat belts, start car fires, exit the vehicle and are run over, etc.
 
For more information on the dangers children face when left alone in vehicles, please visit our website. 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Alarming Number of Cars Stolen with Kids Inside”

  1. Great info !
    I was not aware of the car thefts w/children involved.
    But many deaths caused by children being left in the heat.
    People are to trusting, children should be guarded with your life.
    Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. it’s very saddening that more and more theft had been happening especially now that we are still in pandemic. Great reminders and tips by the way for parents or even guardians who should be the one to watch out for their kids who were left inside the car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zandra L. Thank You so much for you input, we highly value it here!
      Zandra L. have you ever forgotten your Children in a vehicle?
      I raised 4 Sons, and never one (1) time was any of the four (4) forgotten, nor left in a vehicle.
      In 2017, Mr. Blair Corbett, Founder of “Ark of Hope for Children”, and I had been very upset by the rising deaths of Children in vehicles, so we got together and came up with the easiest way to never forget a Child in a vehicle:
      #HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters
      #1 – Use our hash mark above
      #2 – Make a TASK in your phone:
      “On my way to work March 14, 2017, drop the Baby at MOTHER’S DAY OUT at 8:30am.
      #3 – Set your reminder at least 15 minutes early.
      #4 – When the reminder goes off, hit the SLEEPER, and continue hitting SLEEPER until the BABY is safely at MOTHERS DAY OUT, and you are back in your car driving on to work.
      There s no doubt that this is the simplest solution.
      Thank You Zandra L. we want you to know your place is here, any time you come and visit!
      Sincerely,
      Robert

      Like

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