March 9, 2021 – 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.org 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.