Car thief steals a woman’s car with her child in it, but returns the kid before driving back off with the stolen vehicle
File this under, terrifying things that you thought only happened in movies. A woman’s car was stolen with her son in it, only to find that the car jacker later returned with the boy, and then drove off in the car again.
Crystal Leary, a mom from Beaverton, Oregon was running errands with her four-year-old son when she made a game-time decision to leave her son in the car, with the car running and unlocked, while she quickly ran into a local butcher shop about 15 feet from her car. After several minutes in the shop, she saw someone drive away with her car… with her son still inside the vehicle.
According to the story that the mom relayed to police, the car jacker sped away but quickly realized the kid was in the car. The car thief then pulled a U-turn in the nearby shopping center, returned with the car, and then — most surprising — scolded the mom for leaving her kid in the car and even threatened to call the police on her. The thief then made Leary take her child out of the car and then drove off again with her stolen car.
Beaverton police spokesman Officer Matt Henderson tells The Register-Guard that even he was shocked by the behavior of the thief, because it’s not everyday that you see car jackers threatening to call the cops on the person they’re stealing the car from. Calling it a “crime of opportunity,” Henderson also says he doesn’t judge Leary for leaving her young son in the car.
“What she did was not a crime. She was within sight and sound of her child,” Henderson told Oregon Live. “But she left the car running, so take that extra step, take the keys with you. It’s a good reminder to take extra precaution when we have our little ones with us.”
Thief steals a car that was left running outside a store, then drives back when he realizes a child was in the backseat. He then threatens to call police on the mother for being irresponsiblehttps://t.co/JUDTmLVotY
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) January 19, 2021
“As moms we get really busy and we think we’re just running in for a second,” Leary told KPTV Fox 12, “And this is just a perfect example of letting our guards down and how terribly it could have ended.”
There is just too much too unpack in this one. The threat to call the police - made by the car thief - probably is the topper.— Terry Hannan (@terryhannan) January 19, 2021
Then, breaking down in tears, she told the news station: “I’m thankful he’s okay and it was so stupid and I will never do it again and its the split second decision that could change everything.”
The car was found a few hours later in Portland, but as for the car thief, police say “we’re thankful he brought the little one back and had the decency to do that.”