November 16, 2007 in City

Repo man gets SUV, two children

By The Spokesman-Review

Two children were temporarily repossessed along with their father’s SUV Thursday morning, after he left them in the vehicle while he ran into a store for doughnuts. The man repossessing the vehicle didn’t notice the kids until he arrived at the repo lot.

That man called Spokane police about 7:40 a.m. when he realized the children were in the vehicle. The 5- and 7-year-olds’ father called police about the same time, reporting his car had been towed from the parking lot in front of the Fred Meyer store on Thor Street.

“When the repo guy found out, he decided he wanted to keep the truck, but not the kids,” said Spokane police Officer Glenn Bartlett.

The repossession man didn’t look inside the back of the 1996 Ford Explorer when he was towing it away, said Spokane police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe. Those repossessing cars are often threatened by angry owners so they work quickly, DeRuwe said.

“If they see it and no one is around, they hook up and run,” she said.

The father saw the car being towed out of the lot and called police to say that he knew he was behind on his payments but his children were inside.

It’s not illegal to leave children unattended in a car as long as it’s not running, is not outside a bar and weather conditions don’t make doing so dangerous for the children, DeRuwe explained.

The children were returned unharmed to their father, DeRuwe said.

“They were fine, saying, ‘Hey, Dad,’ when he came to get them,” she said.

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