A coffee is not worth more than your children’s safety!

CHILD ABDUCTED FROM COFFS HARBOUR IN NSW FOUND SAFE

Child abducted from Coffs Harbour in NSW found safe

Girl, 2, found safe after car snatch

A very stupid but very lucky man

Mia O’Reilly returned to her parents after she was abducted.

A very stupid but very lucky  dad.

Dumbarse dad doesn’t realise how lucky his daughter was.

We are all aware of the risks of leaving kids unattended in cars. They could die of heat exhaustion. They could let off the park brake and roll the car. They could play with the cigarette lighter and set the car on fire. Or in this case, someone could come along and steal the car, with the kid in it.

Mia O’Reilly (2) was left behind in her dumbarse dad’s station wagon, along with her 6 year old sister at 10.45am outside a Coffs Harbour shopping centre on June 10 (which was a public holiday). Dumbarse dad had gone into the shops to get a cup of coffee, leaving his daughters and the car keys in the ignition. You can guess what happens next, right? Minutes later, a young man got into the car and told the girls to be quiet. The older sister had the bravery and good sense to unbuckle her seatbelt and that of her little sister’s so that they could escape. Older sister managed to get out in time and ran down the street calling for help, but Mia, being 2 years old, was too scared to climb out, so she was taken along with the station wagon.

An hour and a half later, a hotel owner found the abandoned station wagon, along with Mia, and rang the police. Mia was reunited with her mum, and (unfortunately) the nitwit who put his caffeine craving above the welfare of his two young daughters. Betcha Mum gave him a hell of a backhand for being such a selfish idiot. He came so close to never seeing his daughters ever again. Police believe that the thief was looking for an easy opportunity to steal a car. But it could have been so much worse. The offender could have been a pedophile. He could have been looking for “fresh meat” for a child porn syndicate. He could have been a serial killer, who would have killed the little girls just because he could. None of that crossed the dumbarse dad’s mind, all he cared about was his precious coffee fix. What a selfish bastard.

Police are still looking for the offender, who is described as being of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander appearance and in his 20s. They are also reminding parents not to leave their kids unattended in the car, not even for a minute. Anyone with information should ring Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle is a punishable offence in NSW and can carry fines. I trust Dumbarse dad will be charged with his neglect of his girls. How hard is it to take the girls out of the car, take them into the coffee shop with you, and get your coffee, plus maybe get them a hot chocolate or a babycino? Really! I think Dumbarse Dad resented having the girls with him, so he left them out in the car so he could have a moment to himself. Apart from leaving them unattended, I think it’s pretty bloody selfish for him to go and get himself a coffee and not get anything for the girls. The older girl must have felt left out and wondering why Daddy didn’t want them to come into the shops with him :(

  • Minerva

    I take my 2 year old in with me to get coffee and never leave her even within sight. Call me crazy but if she’s not within a five second dash from me then she’s not close enough.

    When I run into Starbucks to grab coffee we make it a fun thing. She gets a pastry and milk and I get coffee. When we pass a Starbucks she yells “coffee!! Mama!!”. Why leave a kid in a car? What’s the two minutes to unbuckle and buckle them back up compared to the peace of mind and safety?

    • Aussie Sabbath

      That’s still one of my favourite things to do with my Mum – have a coffee and a pastry while out shopping. I have a few good memories of having a soft drink down at the pub with my Dad (and later on a beer when I was old enough). This dumbarse dad missed on one of those little moments with his girls, and nearly got them killed!

  • GracieW

    I’ve left my kids in the car in order to run into a grocer and grab a gallon of milk. I also leave the car running so that they’re cool. But I have keyless entry so because I’m clutching the car keys and they’re not physically in the car the car can’t shift from park. Somehow that made me think it is safer but to be honest this story makes me think twice.

    • kayteakay

      I hope you won’t leave your kids in there anymore. Someone could easily smash the window and snatch them up.

  • Skye Belle Matilda Brand

    I’ve left my two ferals in the car while I paid for petrol at one of those after hours windows but I won’t leave them if I have to go inside to pay even though there are massive windows all along the front. I wait until hubby is home & I duck up to the servo alone. I know it not an option everyone has & I doubt I would think less o someone who paid for petrol or used an ATM while kids were in the car because they are never out of line of sight & only a few metres away…but going INSIDE A SHOPPING MALL to buy anything is just stupid! And leaving the keys in the ignition???? Even if no one stole the car, imagine if Miss 6 decide to have a crack at driving?????

    God, now I’m going to have to remember not to leave the keys in the car at home…I’ve worried myself!

    • The_Shadow_Knows

      Here in West Virginia (which has a fairly low crime rate, believe it or not) an 11-year-old girl was assaulted in a Target store back in 2003. Her mother left her in the toy department while shopping in another aisle – something my parents did all the time when I was a kid – and some sicko dragged her off and molested her right in the store. They caught the bastard, but that doesn’t undo the harm he did to the girl. You can’t take your eyes off your children for a second anymore.

      • Skye Belle Matilda Brand

        My Mum used to do that too…probably pretty common I’d say. Mine are too little to leave anywhere & I think you’re right, time have changed. Criminals seem to be more brazen. Perhaps the unbelievably lenient punishments are less frightening than their urges?

      • Skye Belle Matilda Brand

        Also, West Virginia sounds like a pretty nice place to live. I’ve got a friend in Luray who sends me photos of amazing streetscapes in Autumn (my favourite season) which makes me super jealous!

  • Buffettgirl

    I’m not sure that I find leaving the 10 year old in the car to quickly look after her little sister to be so bloody awful, but the fact that he didn’t make sure that they were going to be safe and secure first is atrocious! I hope they charge him and follow through with a maximum penalty to teach other jackasses out there to be more attentive to their children!

    • kayteakay

      The girl was 6 not 10. And in my home state it’s illegal to leave anyone under 12 in the car without an adult. It’s stupid and irresponsible; taking the “easy” route could have killed his kids.

      • Buffettgirl

        I misread the age, yes at six it’s utterly stupid to have done that. In my state it’s age 10 that a child can be left alone and 12 to be in charge of another child. That said, I’ve been told by my local police that it can depend on this situation and maturity level of the child left in charge as well. Had the older sister been 10 and demonstratively mature it wouldn’t have been illegal here.

        • kayteakay

          I had to re-read the post to make sure it was 6 before I replied.
          This man should be glad his 6 year old had the sense to get out. Poor kids are probably going to be freaked out for a long time.

          • Buffettgirl

            Very true – smart six year old though! The parents at least have SOME things going for them if that was her instant reaction! đŸ˜‰

  • The_Shadow_Knows

    Do people routinely leave their car keys in the ignition in Australia? Because if I leave my car – even to walk to the corner and mail a letter or something – the keys are in my pocket and the doors are locked.

    Of course, that pales beside the fact that he also left HIS DAUGHTERS in the car. How can someone be so dense in 2013? Doesn’t he watch the news? He’s damn lucky they didn’t find his girls dead in a ditch somewhere. I hope Mom plants a foot in his ass and he sleeps on the couch for a while.

    • Skye Belle Matilda Brand

      Yeah, I park my car overnight in my drive way unlocked & keys in the ignition. I also couldn’t tell you where the keys to my house are…I can’t remember the last time the door was locked! I grew up in the country & since moving to a more populate are (but still quite rural) I just can’t get into the habit of locking anything!

      As a child I would regularly come home from school to find a neighbour making a cuppa while they waited for Mum to come back from wherever she was (up the paddock, in town grabbing something, etc). It’s kind of normal!

      • The_Shadow_Knows

        I also grew up in the country, but I guess I’m more paranoid than you. Our house doors stay locked and dead-bolted and (if we’re at home) thumb-bolted and chained. Better safe than sorry.

    • Aussie Sabbath

      When I was younger, Mum would leave us in the car while she ducked into the shops to get a few things. She would leave the keys in the ignition so that we could listen to the radio too. She thought that if there were kids in the car, it wouldn’t get stolen, but we were always taught that if someone was trying to get into the car, to lock the doors and honk the horn. Nowadays, you can’t do that. Police have fined parents for doing what my Mum did in the 90s.
      Leaving keys in the ignition isn’t really a done thing in the city. When I was learning to drive, Mum said that when refueling to NEVER leave the keys in the ignition while going in to pay. Someone could make off with the car and all your stuff. Luckily that’s not an issue, as my car emits an ear-piercing banshee shriek if you leave the keys in the ignition (and sometimes it jams and will do it if the ignition’s not turned all the way off!)

      • The_Shadow_Knows

        “She thought that if there were kids in the car, it wouldn’t get stolen…”

        Actually, now I’m wondering why the thief didn’t take a moment to put the two year old out. If all he wanted was the car, why burden himself with a toddler? Maybe he had something worse in mind, but chickened out? In any case, “Dad” is lucky this didn’t end a different way.

        • Aussie Sabbath

          In the early 90s, a friend of my parents had her trolley full of shopping stolen. There was an epidemic of trolley thefts in VIC at the time and some mothers had trolleys stolen while the kid was still sitting in the seat. The thieves would dump the kid somewhere and make off with the trolley. In China there was a case of a carjacker killing a kid that was left in a car. It could have been so much worse for this dumbarse dad.

    • Steve Weiss

      I clip mine to my belt via a climbing grade carbiner, but I’m just paranoid like that.