Police Investigating After Vehicle With Children Inside Is Towed From Parking Lot in Lakewood [PHOTOS]

Authorities are investigating a shopping experience in Lakewood took a bizarre twist, TLS has learned.

At approximately 4:20pm, the Lakewood Police Department responded to a shopping plaza in Lakewood after receiving a report that a vehicle was towed after it was illegally parked in a fire lane. Responding Officers were advised that the vehicle was occupied by five children, ages two through seven at the time of event.

“Further information obtained by Officer Kevin Nickerson revealed that a 30-year-old Jackson woman had parked her car in the fire lane so that she could quickly run into two stores,” Lakewood Police Captain Greg Staffordsmith told TLS. “According to the mother of the five, she asked an unidentified woman to watch her vehicle. However, the vehicle was towed by a local towing company that was contracted by plaza owners to enforce parking issues.”

The operator of the tow truck was reportedly unaware that the vehicle was occupied due to factory window tint.

Upon exiting the store, the mother discovered that her vehicle was now missing and the unidentified woman was no longer there.

Several calls were placed, including one to the tow truck company. The driver was contacted and advised that the vehicle he was transporting was occupied by the children. He then provided his location and waited the police.

The children, who were luckily unharmed, were returned to the care of their parents.

“At this time, the investigation is ongoing with the assistance of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency,” Staffordsmith said.

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  1. How does that make sense? It doesn’t take one second to tow a vehicle, and the kids inside should’ve been able to make a ruckus unless they were one yr old quintuplets!

    • Yes it only takes 2 minutes!!! I was in a small store for literally 5 minutes to get 1 thing (my kids were inside the store with me) and did not see it happen! I was not in a fire lane or blocking anyone in… and they took my car to Toms River from GG plaza an hour and a half before shabbos. It was a huge parking lot so hard to find a sign with the number to call… if you dont pick up that day they charge you $150 a day to be in their lot (over Shabbos) besides for the amount to get your car back. The only ones benefitting is the Towing company, but the parking lots allow it for some reason. Extremely dangerous story and everyone should be very careful as i heard they prey on customers on erev Shabbos and ymtv when it is hectic!!

  2. The mother was just running in to a few stores. Should only be a few minutes. Stop and think how long it took for someone to make the call that a vehicle was ILLEGALLY parked in a fire zone, for the tow truck to come and take several minutes to begin the tow process, and leave before the mother returned and realized her crime had caused her five children to disappear. Who is to blame for all this?

    • 100% disagree There are some times tow trucks in Or outside the lot And it takes Literally 60 seconds For a Tow truck driver To toe your car away ( They are not as careful to make sure your car is a 100% Chained down Because the tow truck wants to be out of their before you come)

  3. Something is really off about this. Why would you ask a “unidentified” person to watch your kids? Not sure what the drivers understanding of “quickly” is, but for the store owner to call the towing company and get them there/hook up vehicle/drive off the lot takes a bit of time. Even if the towing company was in the parking lot it still would take at least 10-15 minutes to hook up and get off the lot and into Howell Twsp.

  4. The owner of the towing company insisted that the operator of the tow truck was unaware that there were children inside the vehicle. However, according to fictitious sources, the owner also insisted that even if the operator had been aware of the children inside the vehicle, his actions would have been correct.
    “When we get a call about an illegally parked vehicle,” the owner of the towing company explained, “it is our job to tow away the vehicle, and not the passengers. But, in this instance, our records show that the caller specifically stated that 5 children were parked there illegally. Hence, it was our job to tow away the illegally parked children, and not the vehicle. But without towing away the vehicle, you can’t tow away the children. so both the children and the vehicle had to be towed away.”

  5. School 101 prior to Towing any vehicle period the driver should have checked the car for occupants and to see if e brake is on THANK GOD he was stopped before he got to his yard for the children safety, The mother should never have left those children in that car unattended.

  6. The front windows aren’t tinted (look at the pictures).
    Considering the driver apparently doesn’t do his due diligence, I wrote recommend avoiding this company because who knows what kind of damage they will do to your car.

  7. Everything is wrong, but everything is “right”. People are under such pressure here in Lakewood and they do desperate and crazy things because sitting in traffic takes up such a large chunk of our time. A solution needs to be found and the duplex building needs to stop .

  8. It takes maybe 1 minute to tow a car AWAY from that spot . He then goes to a different spot OUTSIDE the parking lot to quickly put on the chains and secure the car. It’s so the owner doesn’t realize. Also most times the tow trucks are literally sitting outside our eyesight, but they are watching. I’ve seen cars towed in less that a minute in NYC.

  9. Tow trucks for this type of work & repos hook up in seconds & the tow driver doesn’t even need to get out. They hookup drive a little bit away & secure the vehicle properly.

  10. I was in the same plaza today, I parked my car next to the last parking spot in one of the rows of spots. not in the fire lane, I was in a store for 8 minutes. I came back and my car wasn’t there. I asked the store owner and he said that the same towing company is towing cars all day. He must have been watching me park, and started the second I went into the store because I was out quickly. I went to a police car that was driving around. He said this has nothing to do with him but the guy will be back after he drops off your car…
    This is not right of the management company to ask them to do this, and its not right for the towing company to jump onto every car. Its a day before pesach and its time and money.

    • To the mother that left her kids in the car just for a few minutes:
      I’d like To know, Would you have left your pocket book full of cash on the front seat ?

      Your kids are worth more than that!

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