Three children, including an infant, were rescued after a speeding vehicle they were in was stolen, Nebraska police said.
The vehicle with the 5-year-old, 1-year-old and 7-month-old boy was driven out of a Grand Island home at around 3 am Sunday, Jan. 29, according to a Grand Island Police Department report.
Police said the children’s parents put the children in the speeding car and had a “brief conversation” with their neighbours, when two suspects took over the vehicle.
The stolen vehicle was found about an hour later. Police arrested an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old in the vehicle, but the three children were not inside, police said in a criminal report.
At 4:52 am, nearly two hours after the crash began, officers discovered another stolen vehicle on Grand Island. The two older children were found in the truck, but the child remained missing, police said.
The child, police learned half an hour later, had been abandoned and wrapped only in a blanket on the porch of a house.
Police said the 18-year-old admitted to stealing the vehicle the three children were in. When he realized the boys were inside, he met the 17-year-old driving the stolen truck, the crime report said.
They abandoned the two older kids in the truck and left the kid on a random porch. The teenage suspects “fled at high speed” in the stolen vehicle before being caught in a chase, police said.
The two teenagers were charged with three counts of kidnapping, three counts of intentional child abuse resulting in injury, theft and fleeing to avoid arrest, Grand Island Police said.
The three children were taken to hospital for medical treatment due to the “dangerously cold” weather conditions, police said. They were treated for “suspected hypothermia and frostbite” and have since been released, KLKN reported.
The officers found “no negligent behavior on the part of the parents”.
“The safety of our community and the most vulnerable of them, our children, has been the primary consideration during this case, and we are grateful that the outcome was not worse given the circumstances caused by the suspects,” police said.
Grand Island is approximately 150 miles southwest of Omaha.
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