Shively Police investigating after car stolen with 3-year-old in - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Shively Police investigating after car stolen with 3-year-old inside

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Darrick Murphy (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections) Darrick Murphy (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Shively Police say two suspects got more than they bargained for when they stole a car Wednesday morning: they didn't bargain on a 3-year-old boy being inside.

According to Detective Josh Myers of the Shively Police Department, it happened shortly after 9 a.m. at a convenience store near the corner of Dixie Highway and Mary Catherine Drive.

Myers says a car -- a Kia Sedan -- was parked outside the convenience store, with the keys in the vehicle, the doors unlocked and the engine running. A 3-year-old boy was inside the car, and his grandmother had gone into the store to pick up a newspaper.

That's when, Myers said, 18-year-old Darrick Murphy and a 17-year-old juvenile jumped into the car and drove away.

They didn't realize the boy was in the car at the time, according to Myers.

Shortly after they left the scene, the pair allegedly stopped the car on Luken Drive and let the child out, before driving away. Myers said a witness saw what happened and stood with the child until police arrived. According to Myers, police recovered the child only 3-4 minutes after receiving the initial reports of the theft.

Police say the suspects dumped the car a short distance away, on Theresa Avenue. Myers said both suspects were found after a short foot chase -- one hiding behind a nearby business, and another in a dumpster.

In total, Myers estimates the entire incident lasted about 10 minutes.

The child is said to be unharmed.

"The child obviously is doing fine – not harmed physically in any way – and was able to talk to us and give us a statement, which is fantastic," Myers said.

"His statement was something along the line of, he [the suspect] was driving grammy's car, and the child even asked him, 'What are you doing?'"

Myers said both suspects were arrested. Murphy is charged with complicity to theft by unlawful taking of an automobile, fleeing or evading police on foot and complicity to wanton endangerment. The juvenile suspect -- who is not being identified because of his age -- is charged with two counts of theft by unlawful taking of an automobile (one of them is from an unrelated incident) and wanton endangerment.

"A stolen car is bad enough, but when there’s a child in the car, it adds up -- another layer to it -- and we're just very fortunate that we are able to report today that the child is doing well and wasn't harmed," Myers said.

Myers was also questioned on whether the child's grandmother would face charges. 

"Obviously leaving a vehicle unattended while running is a violation of the law in Kentucky," Myers said. "We strongly urge people not to do that at all. That is a violation, and that’s something that we as police officers would actually have to witness to charge with that, so that takes that one out of play."

Myers added that a charge of endangering the welfare of a minor is conceivable -- but unlikely.

"In this case, the grandmother has been through a lot," he said. "She was physically, mentally and emotionally distraught over this whole incident -- and I don't know that necessarily any charges at this point would be the best route to go. However, we will look into the circumstances and we'll have a conversation with the County Attorney’s office to see at that point."

He said this case -- which ended well -- should serve as a warning to both parents and drivers.

"This is something that, she was parked right by the doors, went in to get a newspaper, probably wasn’t gone 30 seconds -- but unfortunately that’s all it takes," Myers said. "And that’s why we remind people: lock your vehicles, turn off your car, take the kids in with you. We’ve all heard these stories way too many times. It’s fortunate in this case that the child was unharmed."

Stay with WDRB News. We'll update this story as it develops.

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