LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – A suburban Chicago woman was seriously injured while trying to prevent a man from stealing her SUV that had her 2-year-old son inside, police said.
The boy was later found safe by police 10 miles away in Waukegan, the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights reported.
According to a Facebook post from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the 34-year-old woman had pulled into the driveway of her home in Libertyville at about 3:35 p.m. CST. The woman brought one of her children inside her home, but when she returned to retrieve her 2-year-old son from her 2021 Volkswagen Atlas she was confronted by a man who had exited a BMW that had pulled behind her vehicle.
As the woman attempted to take her son, the man allegedly hit her and knocked her to the ground, the sheriff’s office said. The suspect took her SUV with the child inside and fled the scene, along with the driver of the BMW.
One of drivers ran the woman over, causing serious injuries.
Lake County sheriff’s Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said deputies called Volkswagen Car-Net in an attempt to track the vehicle, the Daily Herald reported.
A detective was told that because the tracking service’s bill had not been paid, the employee would not reveal the vehicle’s location until the account was current, according to the newspaper and the sheriff’s office. The officer paid the bill to reactivate the tracking service, Covelli said.
“It added close to 30 minutes to the process,” Covelli said, according to the Daily Herald. “We had very fortunately already located the abducted 2-year-old and also found the stolen Volkswagen.”
Covelli added that Volkswagen Car-Net has taken responsibility, adding that it was not standard practice to charge law enforcement officials for location data, the newspaper reported.
The child was found in Waukegan when a person working at a business called 911 and reported that two vehicles had entered a parking lot and abandoned a small child, the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. The caller took the child into their care until authorities arrived.
Deputies confirmed that the child was the missing toddler.
The child’s mother remains in serious but stable condition, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities have located the Volkswagen about 2 miles from where the child was dropped off, Covelli said.
No arrests have been made. The sheriff’s office said the BMW was stolen in the past week from a car dealership in Waukegan.
An investigation is ongoing.
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