An Atlanta area man was arrested after he left his two children in a running car, which was subsequently stolen while he was buying ice at a local convenience store, according to MyFoxAtlanta.com.
The two children, a 5-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy, were found unharmed by a neighbor on the road. Police said that they let themselves out of the car after it had been abandoned by the thief.
Security footage shows a man in a red shirt taking the car shortly after the children's father, Charles Boyd, entered the store and his reaction after realizing what had happened. Remarkably, Boyd did not call police at first, and authorities were alerted only after a clerk at the store telephoned 911.
Boyd was taken into police custody after officers found out what happened. The police said that Boyd did not tell them that the children were in the car when it was taken.
However, a witness on the scene said the police were lying.
"He told the police that his kids (were) in the car and somebody jumped in his car and pulled off," Robinson said. "Maybe the police misunderstood him when he said that his kids were in the car. Because (of) how he was talking, it could (have) sounded like he said, 'My keys in the car,'" Tabitha Robinson said, according to WSBTV.
Regardless, Boyd is being charged with reckless conduct. Check out the video above for more info.
Car theft is a real and ever present danger. Help prevent it by following a few tips:
Certain vehicles and areas more prone to car theft
The NHTSA statistics show that certain models of cars are stolen more than others. Interestingly, instead of fancy sports cars or expensive SUVs, most stolen cars – 72% in fact – are run-of-the-mill passenger cars. In 2008, the top ten stolen vehicles were: the Dodge Magnum, Pontiac Grand Prix, Dodge Charger, Mitsubishi Galant, Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera, Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Hyundai Sonata.
And though no one is safe from vehicle theft, the statistics show that living in certain places could make you more prone to having your car stolen. According to the data, the top ten states for vehicular theft are: California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, Nevada, Maryland, North Carolina, Arizona, Missouri and New Jersey.
Both NHTSA and Consumer Reports couldn't comment about why certain states and vehicles are prone to theft, so we are left to speculate on the reasoning behind these trends.
Thieves want your parts, too
Given that thieves can make tons of money by selling off individual parts, it's no surprise that they will often target a car simply for its components. And we're not talking just radios and wheels. NHTSA describes certain car components as "hot parts," which are parts that thieves are particularly interested in. The list includes air bags, batteries, catalytic converters, GPS units, DVD entertainment systems and items left visible in your car such as iPods, computers and purses.
NHTSA has instituted a parts-marking system to help deter component theft. These federal rules require automakers to place a vehicle's VIN on certain parts so they can be more easily tracked in the case that they are stolen. However, these "hot parts" do not fall under NHTSA's regulatory responsibility, thus they don't have any identification markings that could make them easier to recover. So, odds are that if you have a "hot part" stolen, you're not going to see it again.
Use common sense
Above all else, NHTSA recommends simply using common sense as a defense against car theft. When parking and exiting your vehicle, try to run through a short checklist in your mind:
-Do I have the key?
-Are the doors and windows shut and locked?
-Am I parked in a well-lit area?
-Are there any valuables that could be seen?
Additionally, NHTSA urges drivers to park in their garage, not the driveway, whenever possible and to never, for any reason, leave the area while a vehicle is still running.
Bottom Line: No one is safe from vehicular theft, but you could be more prone to it if you live in certain places or drive a certain car. Use common sense when parking or leaving your car for the night. Make sure you lock up, hide your valuables and never leave the area while your car is running.
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