There are those parents who say that they won’t allow their kids to have cell phones until their teens, while others allow them to have one from an early age. Now, whatever you might think the right thing to do is, maybe you should first read how an 8-year-old’s quick-thinking and cell phone helped the police catch a carjacker and kidnapper in San Diego.
Single dad Rodney Cole had been driving in his car with his 8-year-old daughter, Malayha, and her toddler brother, Jackson, when he stopped at a beauty supply store to get some hair ties for his daughter. He left the kids in the car, keys in the engine with the air-conditioning on and rushed to the store for a couple of minutes.
However, even this shortest amount of time was enough for a young woman to kidnap his kids. According to a witness, the woman was passing by the car bouncing a basketball, when she dropped it suddenly and peered into the car. Apparently, she was trying to figure out if the car was still running. When she saw the keys, she immediately jumped into the driver’s seat and drove off.
The witness said that he honked his horn to draw Cole’s attention. Cole eventually got out of the store and started chasing the car on foot. As much as the witness wanted to help him more, he was too busy feeding his own kid in the passenger seat at that time.
So, Cole chased his stolen car and he would have managed to stop the woman if she hadn’t run a light.
“I almost caught the car but she started driving erratically,” Cole said. “She got to the light and ran the light and made a left, and I was just stuck in the middle of the street crying and bawling. I didn’t know what to do, these are my babies.”
Luckily, Malayha had her phone with her. She told the woman that if she didn’t return them to their daddy, she’d call the police. The woman, after trying to grab the phone, threatened to crash the car.
“She said ‘Give me the phone or I’ll drive in circles and crash into the freeway wall,'” the little girl told the local news.
Indeed, the girl called 911 and explained the situation. Although she didn’t know exactly where they were, she could see signs that they were headed to Mexico. So, the police put dozens of officers on high alert, as well as they alerted the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
The car was literally two minutes away from Mexico, more specifically at the San Ysidro border checkpoint, when the authorities arrested the 26-year-old woman and charged her with four felonies, including carjacking, kidnapping to commit a robbery, vehicle theft and threatening to cause death.
The police took the chance to remind all parents that they should never leave their kids unattended in their vehicles for whatever amount of time.
Cole is grateful to everyone who helped bring back his two children, while he’s also very proud of his smart daughter.
We’re glad the girl was brave enough to call the police and that the family was reunited so soon!
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