Florida Inmates Use Carjacking Skills to Rescue Baby From Locked Car
A.k.a. “The Redemption of Florida Man.”
A couple in Florida experienced every parent's worst nightmare when they realized that they locked both their 1-year-old child as well as their keys inside their Chevrolet Tahoe, reports ABC 11. Fortunately for them, some of the inmates working on a nearby median were, ahem, well-versed in opening locked vehicles and lent their carjacking expertise to rescue the child.
The mother told ABC 11 that her husband had strapped their daughter into her car seat, and then he tossed the Tahoe's keys into the front seat. Unfortunately, they realized after closing the back door to the truck that all the doors were locked—with the key also locked inside.
Fortunately, a group of low-risk inmates was on a work-release program nearby repairing a median, reports ABC 11. It's a rehabilitation program meant to ease inmates back into a more productive lifestyle once they're released.
"They know they made bad mistakes, bad choices but they want to do the right thing in life," Sheriff Chris Nocco told ABC 11.
This afternoon, though, the inmates were allowed to demonstrate how some of their more specialized skills—specifically, those related to breaking into locked vehicles—could be used for good.
Under the officers' supervision, inmates used a coat hanger to pop open the Tahoe's lock within just a few minutes to release the child. The child was unhurt. The mother was so grateful, she even wants to contribute to the commissary accounts of the inmates who saved her daughter from a hot car to make their remaining time in the slammer a little more bearable, reports ABC 11.
This also brings up a good thing to watch for the parents out there. While some cars do allow you to open a door if they sense the key is inside the vehicle, others do not, so it's best to just slide those keys back into a pocket while you're fiddling with car seats. Locked cars get much hotter inside than the temperatures outside would suggest, which can injure or kill those left inside. For this very reason, automakers like Tesla have come up with clever solutions like "Dog Mode," which helps pets remain safe while waiting in the car for short periods of time.