Local News

Toddler, Stolen SUV Recovered

Posted January 29, 2007
Updated January 30, 2007

— A toddler was inside a Jeep when a thief took it from the pumps at a north Raleigh gas station Monday afternoon, but she was found unharmed a short time later, police said.

Jamyah Leilan Jones, 3, was strapped in her car seat when her mother's white Jeep Cherokee was stolen from a Kangaroo-BP gas station on Wake Forest Road north of New Hope Church Road at about 2:30 p.m., police said.

The girl's mother had gone inside to pay for gas and apparently had left the 1998 Jeep running, police said.

The vehicle was found about 90 minutes later in a shopping center parking lot at the intersection of Strickland and Creedmoor roads, police said. The girl was still in her car seat and was unharmed, police said.

They said they believed the thief abandoned the car after realizing he had kidnapped the girl in the theft.

Police said the girl was later reunited with her mother shortly after 4 p.m.

A man was walking along Wake Forest Road near the gas station, jumped into the Jeep and drove off, police said. He is described as a black man who is about 6 feet 1 inch tall with a medium build and wearing a three-quarters length coat, police said.

State officials initially reported the man had been arrested at the same time as the girl and the vehicle were found. But police were still searching for the suspect Monday evening. They were examining surveillance tapes from the business for clues to the man's identity.

Authorities are also looking into a discrepancy in the time the crime was reported. The incident was reported at 2:30 p.m., but the Amber Alert was not issued until 80 minutes later.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-890-3555.

This story is closed for comments.

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  • catherinemorgan Jan 30, 2007

    kittenb -- Are you really trying to compare holding this mother accountable to BLAMING a woman for getting raped in a park??? PLEASE!!! This mother deliberately left her child in a running car UNSUPERVISED! That's dangerous on so many levels.

    I have 4 kids (including 11 mos twins) 3 in carseats so I know what a pain it is to go anywhere. However, I'd never leave them in the car unattended, much less in with it ON! Not even in my own driveway!!! As a parent it is our job to PROTECT our children. Holding this parent accountable becuz she failed to PROTECT her child is not the same as BLAMING her for what happened. I feel horrible for her because I know how I'd feel if it were me. However, I still believe she should be held accountable, not becuz it's her fault the car was taken but becuz it was taken with her child inside! NC law will give her what she needs...a better education on how to make better decisions as a parent.

  • amanda27565 Jan 30, 2007

    I can not believe what I am reading. The mother should be charged? What about the guy who took the SUV? I feel the mother needs to attend a parenting class or a class about the children that are never found because of one careless mistake. We are learning to be better parents but is putting the mother in jail going to help her? What about the child? Not only was she taken now her mother is in jail and she is a ward of the state? What is that going to do to her?

  • ToBar Jan 30, 2007

    She had better be charged with child endangerment just like the woman in Rocky Mount.......

  • wfisher5 Jan 30, 2007

    Using a Debitcard or a Creditcard can be useful items to keep from having to make a trip into a store to pay for gas. You can gas up and sit back in your car for safety. I still advise my friends to gas up and use the ATM during the day to reduce any possible risk factors. Its unfortunate but you have to play it safe at all times...

  • wfisher5 Jan 30, 2007

    A VISA Checkcard would have prevented the whole thing...Visit your Bank or Credit union today to get one...

  • WhatEver Jan 30, 2007

    Like I said the mother needs to be charged with neglagance and child endangerment. The thief needs to go to jail and not burn in hell like someone else on here said. How dare you condem someone to hell. I am 100% positive that you have not lived a sinless life. Some pumps still do not have the ability to pay at the pump and it has nothing to do with having good credit to have a credit card. I have outstanding credit and do not have any credit cards becuase I rather pay cash for everything. Having credit cards is a easy way to lower your credit score if you do not pay them. Now haveing a debit card is different but still they all do not have the ability to pay at the pump. I wish full service pumps would come back.

  • BEACH Jan 30, 2007

    SHE SHOULD BE CHARGED, that is again the law in NC
    to leave a child in a running car.

  • rjohnson Jan 30, 2007


  • robert2 Jan 30, 2007

    Well, she'll never do that again (let's hope). She was actually very fortunate.

  • haditup2here Jan 30, 2007

    lawpirate---you obviously don't have any children and if you do, may God help them. There is NO, I repeat NO "valid" reason for leaving a child unattended, anywhere, anytime! You talk of blaming the victim--HELLO---the victim here is the CHILD. She is a victim of her mother's neglect as well as a victim of the thief. And let's give a bit of credit to the thief himself for doing the right thing in the end and leaving the child at a safe location where she would be found. Now it is time for society to pass a law specifically against abandoning your child, anywhere, for any reason, other than at a hospital or fire station where you are leaving them forever for adoption. This law should carry a MANDATORY jail sentence followed by lengthy involvement by child protective services. Maybe then parents will care enough to take care of their children, for their OWN selfish sakes. Our children are our greatest gift--they should be treated as such. The mother SHOULD be charged.