Bakersfield, CA – 8 March, 2016 – A Repo Man found a 6-month-old boy inside a vehicle he was assigned to repossess on Monday.
Police said the driver got the vehicle in the 1900 block of South Union Avenue. He called police when he discovered the child.
“It was scary at first,” Bakersfield police Sgt. Gary Carruesco told Eyewitness News, “because we didn’t know the condition of the baby immediately.”
He said the baby was not hurt, and the driver had spotted the child soon after taking off with the mother’s SUV.
The mother, 32-year-old Rosa Morales, was issued a citation for leaving her child unattended in the vehicle. The child was left alone for about 5 minutes, according to police.
Carruesco said it’s possible the baby was in the car for only that much time, he said repo trucks can make quick work of picking up a vehicle.
“They literally back up to them, and slide their hooks underneath the little ramp, and they’re gone in 30 seconds,” Carruesco said.
The officer also has some ideas on why the driver didn’t spot the baby when he first hooked up the SUV.
“I think he just looked in the front to see that there was nobody in either the driver or front passenger seat,” Carruesco said. “Probably gave it a quick glance, and hooked it up, and drove away.”
The driver works for Access Recovery Services, and a spokeswoman who answered the phone said he’s very upset by the incident.
“It shook him up quite a bit,” the woman said.
Police say the driver faces no charges, and did the right thing.
The mother was cited under the Kaitlyn’s Law, which says a child under the age of 12 cannot be left unattended in a vehicle.
“She was issued a citation, which is an infraction in this case for this first offense,” Carruesco explained.
He said the mother had parked her car in front of a tow yard on Union, and she had gotten out to see about buying a car at that yard. No one at the tow company wanted to comment.
Carruesco said there are clear dangers to leaving a child.
“The car could get stolen, fall into the wrongs hands, and bad things can happen,” the officer said. And he adds there are hazards if children are left in a parked car when it’s very hot or very cold.
The case will also be referred to Child Protective Services, police said.
“But the officers on scene yesterday determined that the baby should be released to the mother,” Carruesco said. “And that’s what happened.”