Chances are that you got an Amber Alert in the Baltimore area yesterday afternoon. That was because of a delinquent teenager who police say stole a woman’s SUV with her baby boy strapped into a car seat in the back.
Officers arrived at the 400 block of Kane Street at the edge of the Bayview neighborhood around 1:30 p.m. A woman there told police she left her Suzuki SL 7 SUV running while she went inside her house to unload groceries. Unfortunately, she left her 11-month-old child sitting in the back. When she came out, someone had jumped in and driven away with her car.
Luckily, two citizens who got the Amber Alert found the child in his car seat on the sidewalk at Shannon Drive in Northeast Baltimore, according to Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith. Police showed up and the baby was taken to a hospital for an evaluation because, as Smith noted, it was cold yesterday and the infant was exposed to the elements. Doctors evaluated him and found him to be in good health last night.
As for recovering the woman’s car, neighbors in the 2700 block of Pelham Avenue, not far from where the suspect lives, called police to report that they had seen the white Suzuki SUV outside. When officers arrived, they caught a 15-year-old boy red-handed trying to spray paint the vehicle.
The teen was arrested and charged with abducting and harboring a child under the age of 16. He likely didn’t know the baby was in the car when he allegedly jumped in and drove away, Smith said.
Smith noted that he has not been charged with carjacking because he did not use any force to take the car. The woman is at some fault for leaving her keys in the ignition unsupervised, but she faces no charges. “There is another conversation for people who leave their vehicles running, but this suspect took the vehicle,” he said. He added that “bad guys are opportunistic, and they stop at nothing to take…your stuff.”
Smith shared the department’s thanks to all who disseminated their Amber Alert. “We are very thankful to everyone who shared this information on social media immediately yesterday,” Smith said. Maryland State Police shared the alert online and neighboring jurisdictions provided aerial help in trying to locate the the child and the SUV.
Smith said it’s possible that the teen took some of his friends for a joy ride after putting the baby out on the sidewalk, but as of now, police believe he was the only one involved in stealing the SUV.
Ethan McLeod is an associate editor for Baltimore Fishbowl.