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NC man stole car with 2 kids inside, police say. Then he helped return them.

Surveillance video shows unattended car being stolen at gas station pump

Surveillance video shows a suspect stealing a car that had been left running and unattended by a gas station pump. When he realized two kids were inside, he had the kids call an uncle to reunite them with their family. The suspect was arrested.
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Surveillance video shows a suspect stealing a car that had been left running and unattended by a gas station pump. When he realized two kids were inside, he had the kids call an uncle to reunite them with their family. The suspect was arrested.

Clayton Police are reminding parents not to leave their children alone in a car after a mother experienced the terrifying ordeal Saturday of having her vehicle stolen with her two young children still inside.

Police say the mother had left her car running around 11:15 p.m. at the gas pumps of the Handee Hugo’s convenience store on Pritchard Road when a man jumped inside and drove away.

Fortunately for the family, the suspect then helped return the children unharmed, according to a news release from the Clayton Police Department.

Arrest records show that Brian Keith Allen Jr., 22, of Covered Bridge Road in Clayton, is charged with stealing a car and two counts of second-degree kidnapping. He is being held at the Johnston County jail on a $150,000 secured bond.

Allen allegedly told Clayton Police he was trying to get to Dunn and didn’t realize the children, ages 7 and 3, were sitting behind him, the news release said. After hearing the children scream, police say the suspect stopped the car and asked the kids if they could call someone they knew.

Police say a suspected car thief had one of the two children aboard call an uncle and give a location where the kids, ages 7 and 3, could be found. Brian Keith Allen Jr., 22, is charged with stealing a car and two counts of second-degree kidnapping.

The mother had left her phone inside the car, allowing the 7-year-old to call an uncle, the news release said. The suspect gave the children an address on Covered Bridge Road where they could be found.

The uncle immediately called 911, helping Clayton Police and Johnston County sheriff’s deputies to recover the children and to arrest the suspect.

Officials hope the incident serves as a warning to parents.

“This family was in a well-lit gas station in a popular shopping area just outside the Riverwood Athletic Club, but criminals will take advantage of an easy opportunity no matter the location,” police said in the news release.

T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.


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