Mother Charged After Allegedly Leaving Children Unattended in Vehicle

MAGNOLIA, NJ (WTXF) - A trip to the store took a scary turn for a South Jersey mom.  Her car was stolen with her children inside. That wild ride came to an end when police say the car crashed.

Authorities say the mother accused of leaving her children unattended in a vehicle that was subsequently stolen outside a liquor store has been charged. Kyna C. Garnett, 32, of Lawnside, was charged Wednesday on a summons with one count of fourth-degree abuse and neglect, according to authorities. 

The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday outside Colombo Liquors on the 500 block of the White Horse Pike in Magnolia.  According to authorities, Garnett left her Chevrolet Traverse running with her 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son inside the vehicle when she entered the store.

Police say Christopher R. Dumas, 38, of Paulsboro, got into the SUV and allegedly drove away with the children inside.  Dumas later crashed the stolen vehicle into a Suzuski SUV at Merchant Street and Hampshire Avenue in Audubon, according to police.

Dumas, the two children and the other driver, a 48-year-old Mount Ephraim woman, were all taken to Cooper University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Authorities say Dumas is charged with three counts each of aggravated assault and assault by auto, two counts each of kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child and one count each of theft, receiving stolen property and eluding.  He is being held at the Camden County Jail with bail set at $617,500.

During the investigation, detectives reviewed surveillance footage from businesses in the area of the incident.  Preliminary findings indicate Garnett’s SUV was stolen approximately 30 seconds after she had exited the vehicle and entered the store.  Surveillance footage shows Garnett was in the liquor store for several minutes.

Garnett was processed Wednesday and released on her own recognizance.

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