Unlocked Car Stolen With Sleeping Child Inside As Texas Mom and Boyfriend Gambled, Police Say
The 16-month-old toddler was found wearing a onesie, shivering in a Houston park.
Authorities claim a mother and her boyfriend left a 16-month-old child in a running and unlocked car outside a gas station, which was subsequently stolen with the child still inside.
On Jan 13, Kimberley Cook, 21, allegedly told officers she and Anthony Blue, 29, kept the toddler in their Chrysler 300 while they entered the Shell Gas Mart in Humble, Texas, according to a statement from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
“Deputies learned in the investigation that Cook and Blue entered the store to play 8 liner machines around 11:30 p.m., and would periodically check on the infant as it slept in the running unlocked car,” the statement reads.
Surveillance video obtained by Houston’s KHOU-TV shows the couple dashing from inside the gas station after discovering their car was gone shortly after midnight.
Authorities claimed Vincent Leon Cannady, 19, and Jabari Jonathan Davis, 18, had spotted the unattended Chrysler 300 and stole it, CNN reported.
At around 12:25 a.m., a McGregor Park ranger in Houston, which is about 20 miles from Humble, made an alarming discovery.
"He saw what he first mistook to be an animal, a small animal, walking through the parking lot," said Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ben Beall. "Turned out to be our 16-month-old child. The child was wearing a onesie, shivering cold.”
Law enforcement allege Cannady and Davis dropped the toddler off in the park.
Police spotted the stolen car around 1 a.m. and took the two men into custody after a short pursuit, according to the statement.
Authorities have charged Cannady and Davis with auto theft and felony kidnapping. Davis faces an additional charge for evading arrest, Houston’s KRPC reported.
According to the television station, law enforcement said the teens are on deferred adjudication for previous felony offenses.
Cook and Blue are charged with child abandonment for leaving the infant unattended. Both their bails have been set at $10,000.
The child was unharmed during the incident and released to the custody of grandparents.
Shell Gas Mart clerk Karla Flores told KHOU-TV, “I would watch the baby from the window, you know, whenever they were in here playing. It breaks my heart.”
Read more: KTRK-TV