Car stolen with 11-year-old inside from New Jersey bank parking lot

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, April 4, 2022
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TENAFLY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A car was stolen with a child inside in New Jersey over the weekend, and police are using the incident to warn drivers to always lock their car before leaving.

It happened just before 11 a.m. Sunday in a Chase Bank parking lot at the corner of County Road and Central Avenue in Tenafly.

Police say they received a number of complaints just prior of a man attempting to open car doors and fleeing in a dark blue or black BMW SUV when he found them to be locked.

Officers patrolling the area were then alerted of the Chase Bank incident, in which the perpetrator hopped into an Audi A8 sedan that had been left running in the parking lot while the victim entered the bank's main foyer to use the ATM.

The victim saw the vehicle reversing from the parking spot and ran out in an attempt to stop the theft, grabbing the driver's side door handle and getting knocked to the ground, sustaining a minor hand injury as the vehicle accelerated away.

Unbeknownst to the car thief, the victim's 11-year-old child was in the back seat at the time.

The suspect fled the parking lot in the stolen vehicle, exiting onto Central Avenue as the victim gave chase on foot.

Someone who was in the bank parking lot witnessed the incident and followed the stolen car, which stopped abruptly near the intersection of West Railroad Avenue -- presumably when the thief realized that the child was in the back seat.

The suspect exited the stolen Audi and quickly jumped into the same BMW SUV, which was apparently following behind.

The child was unharmed and was reunited with his father, who had been chasing on foot.

"We can't say it enough, but it bears repeating: Always lock your cars and remove all key fobs when you park your vehicle," Tenafly Police Captain Michael deMoncada said. "In addition, be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious activity immediately. Don't wait."

The incident is still under active investigation, and anyone with information is urged to call the Detective Bureau at (201) 568-5100.

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