An 8-year-old Wisconsin girl’s quick thinking led to a safe rescue after a car theft at an Oak Creek, Wisconsin, car wash.
Adam Jorgenson’s car was stolen Sunday morning, with his two daughters, Charley, 8, and Autumn, 2, still inside the vehicle, Jorgenson told ABC News affiliate WISN.
Jorgenson told WISN he was drying off his car after a car wash when he was approached by strangers asking for directions.
While one man asked Jorgenson a question, another man was able to enter Jorgenson’s vehicle.
“I had my back turned to the car. And that was enough for the guy to sneak in there real quick and take the car,” Jorgenson said.
“That’s when I heard the tires on our vehicle screech and I turned around and the car was racing out of the parking lot,” he continued.
Charley said when the carjacker realized that the children were in the back seat, he told Charley to get out.
“But then, I said, ‘What about my sister? What am I going to do about her?”‘ Charley said she asked the carjacker.
Jorgenson said he quickly ran into the Kwik Trip car wash and contacted the police and his wife, who was able to track his phone, which was still in the stolen vehicle, using the Find My app.
Brittany Jorgenson, the mother of the children and Adam’s wife, remembered thinking about the “worst case scenario.”
“Like I’m never gonna see my kids again,” she recalled.
The carjacker ultimately left the car about a mile from the car wash, with the children unharmed, according to police.
“Shortly after fleeing the scene the stolen vehicle was located abandoned with the victim’s children inside unharmed,” Oak Creek Police said in a media release.
While in the vehicle, Charley noticed her father’s phone was still in the car and called her mom’s phone number.
“Mom! I need you! We lost dad!” Charley can be heard saying on the voicemail recording, which was obtained by ABC News.
Brittany Jorgenson returned the call from Charley with instructions to wait for police officers, who arrived shortly afterward.
According to police, this remains an open investigation, though police do have a person of interest in custody.
“I’m just extremely thankful that the police were there quickly and that the kids are safe,” Brittany Jorgenson said.
Experts at the National Insurance Crime Bureau say if you ever find yourself in this kind of a situation, remain calm and cooperate with a carjacker and then call 911 once it is safe to do so.