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Child safety group gives tips after child taken in stolen vehicle



TOPEKA, Kan. – After Wednesday morning’s Amber Alert out of Garden City, a national child and car safety organization is warning parents against leaving children unattended in vehicles.

Kids and Car Safety, a national child safety organization, says on Wednesday morning, a vehicle was stolen in Garden City with a 1-year-old child inside. It said the mother had run back inside, only for a second, after strapping the child into its car seat. Luckily, an Amber Alert was issued and the child was found unharmed a few hours later.

According to Kids and Cars, this is not an uncommon occurrence. Already in 2021, it said it has documented 50 children that were taken in a stolen vehicle.

Kids and Cars said in February, a 13-year-old girl was dragged to death trying to escape the backseat of her family’s SUV after it was stolen in Wichita while she was still inside. In 2019, it said it documented over 200 children taken in stolen vehicles nationwide.

According to the organization, while victims of these incidents usually survive, it is traumatizing for everyone involved. It said situations like this are easily avoidable by never leaving kids alone in a vehicle.

Kids and Cars said thieves watch for vehicles left unattended with keys still inside and usually do not realize there is a child inside until after they have already stolen the car. Thefts happen in even the safest neighborhood, meaning children and pets should never be left unattended in a vehicle, not even for a moment. It only takes a few seconds for a vehicle to be stolen.

Kids and Cars gave the following tips for parents to keep their children safe:

  • Never leave a kid alone in a vehicle
  • Use drive-thru or carryout options that do not require you to exit your vehicle for pickup
  • If a business does not offer curbside delivery, call upon arrival and ask them to bring your order to you. Most are more than happy to accommodate when told there are small children with you.
  • Keep doors locked any time you are sitting inside a parked car