CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — A mother described the terrifying moments two teens jumped in her car and sped away with her two young children in the back seat. It happened Sunday night in Chester at a takeout restaurant.
The two young boys — a 6-year-old and 9-month-old — are doing fine. Their mother says they were both asleep at the time of the incident, which is partly why she didn’t take them with her inside the restaurant.
She also admits she learned a lesson in all this.
“I don’t go nowhere without my kids,” Jasmine Barrett said.
Barrett is a busy 28-year-old single mom of two boys who she’s very protective of as she didn’t want either of their faces shown for this story.
Barrett also works as a nurse and had just gotten off a shift when she went to the Happy House Chinese restaurant on the 900 block of West 9th Street in Chester around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
“I stopped to get my son some chicken and when I went to the store and pay for my food and came back out, I seen my truck driving down the street,” she said.
Chester City police say two boys, both 17 years old, stole Barrett’s vehicle with her 9-month-old baby boy and her 6-year-old son still inside.
“They ran the cameras, it all happened in less than 40 seconds,” Barrett said.
A few hours after the vehicle was reported stolen, police found it just two blocks away with her two boys inside and unharmed.
So why didn’t Barrett take her boys inside with her when she picked up the food?
“They were asleep, it’s cold, that’s a high drug area. I could have took them out and they could have been shooting and people say, ‘Why she has her kids out this late?’ Forget the fact that I’m just getting off of work,” Barrett said.
“Is that part of Chester so dangerous for a woman to take her kids out of the car around 9 at night?” CBS3 reporter Matt Petrillo asked Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland.
“No, because if it was that dangerous you wouldn’t have been in that place,” Kirkland said.
Kirkland also says he’s glad police were able to quickly find the vehicle and the two suspects. Barrett is thankful, too.
“I’m just happy I got my kids back and I’m thankful for the police,” she said.
Barrett also says she’s thankful for a woman who saw her kids by themselves and called 911. She says she won’t make the same mistake twice.