A man who tried stealing a vehicle with a child in the backseat was thwarted by the mother Wednesday morning.
Donald Darnell, 31, of Falls Township stole the vehicle while the mother was filling up her SUV at the Sunoco at the intersection of New Falls Road and Penn Valley Road. However, the mom jumped back into the car, informed Darnell her blind son was sitting in the backseat while grabbing him, prompting him to flee on foot.
Using video footage, a parole officer recognized Darnell and notified the police. Darnell returned home to find police waiting to arrest him, but he fled again.
Officers utilized a K-9 dog to pursue the suspect, who admitted to his actions upon capture. Darnell also admitted to several other unsolved thefts.
While crimes can occur anywhere, it is less common for a car thief to target a victim in broad day light, and the incident has shaken some members of the local community.
“It’s a shock because you feel safe and then something like that happens,” said Martin Rivera of Falls Township. “It takes away your security.”
Darnell was unable to post bail and sent to county jail.
WBCB’s Katie Donahue contributed to this report.