A pair of car thieves in Norfolk, Virginia, wanted no part of kidnapping after they stole a car on Wednesday morning. Once they realized they took a car with the child in the backseat, the thieves promptly dropped the 8-year-old off at school.
People reports that the boy’s mother, who left him in her Chevrolet Impala with music playing while she checked in at work, reported her car stolen a little after 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Per Norfolk police spokeswoman Melinda Wray, leaving her young boy in the car alone was a regular occurrence.
“The mom ran into work to take care of a few things and left the car running with the music on. Apparently, this was something she did regularly and had never had any problems.”
The mother, whose name remains disclosed, stated that she was gone around 20 minutes before returning to her car, where she found her both her vehicle and her son missing. After calling authorities, they immediately began searching for the boy and found him in class at Ghent Elementary School. The car jackers told the boy that they were asked to take him to school, said Wray.
“They said his mom had told them to drive him to school. It was slightly odd to him. He was nervous because he had never seen these men before.”
Authorities informed the boy of what really happened, and although he was understandably shaken up about the details, it’s a lesson the police feel will remain with him about the dangers of strangers.
It appears that the car thieves changed their mind about keeping the car after dropping the 8-year-old off at school. Police found the vehicle abandoned around three miles from the elementary school.
So far, no one has been charged, but authorities indicate that due to the boy’s description of the men, they have good leads to draw off of. An arrest is expected within the next week.
Meanwhile, the child’s mother may be facing charges as well for child neglect. Although it may have seemed safe enough to leave her child in the car, Wray stated that investigators are looking into the mother’s actions as well.
“Obviously, child neglect is something that investigators are looking into.”
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the child’s mother, who works at the post office on the 400 block of 20th St. in Ghent, told Ghent Police Officer Daniel Hudson that she has to be at work around 20 to 30 minutes before her son can enter school each day. The vehicle was parked right in front of the post office while the boy held her iPhone and listened to music with the engine running.
The boy described both men as “black and skinny,” possibly in their teens or early 20s. One of them men wore a coat and the other wore a hooded sweatshirt.
When the boy reunited with his mother, he was smiling and in good spirits, although he admitted that he was a little scared when the men approached the car and got in.
Anyone with any information about the men responsible for taking the car should call the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. You can also send a text tip to 274637 or provide information online at www.norfolkcrimeline.com.
According to the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, a child is abducted every 40 seconds. Although child abduction usually doesn’t involve strangers, 32 percent of these kidnappings occur in a vehicle.
[Image via Google Maps/Street View]