Two kids were briefly stolen in Merritt Dec. 9, after they were left in the backseat of a running car. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jens Meyer, file

Two kids were briefly stolen in Merritt Dec. 9, after they were left in the backseat of a running car. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jens Meyer, file

Kids briefly stolen along with running car from Merritt elementary school

Children had been in backseat when car thief took off

Two children were temporarily kidnapped from an elementary school in Merritt last Friday (Dec. 9), after their parent left them inside a running vehicle.

A local person took the opportunity to steal the ride, although police can’t say whether the suspect had intended to take the kids too.

Merritt RCMP say they were able to find the stolen vehicle within minutes, arresting the thief and confirming the kids were unharmed.

Sgt. Josh Roda said he hopes the scary incident serves as a reminder for other parents.

“We no longer live in a day and age where we can leave our vehicles running and expect them to be there when we come back. We want to use this as a reminder to encourage parents never leave your vehicles running if you’re not in them. If you are picking up a child from school, please bring all your children with you, shut your vehicle off and lock it.”

The suspect is known to police. They have been released on an undertaking with conditions.

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