CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A CMS teacher says an 11-year-old student stole her car and when she got it back it was destroyed — scratches, dents, gum on the seat — and dozens of cigarette butts on the floor.
If that damage isn't bad enough, she says it's what's missing from her car that has her family even more heartbroken.
Sixth grade teacher Adrienne Friedrichs says the child walked out into the school parking lot with her stolen keys and used the unlocking sound to find her car.
"It's devastated our family. The kids are scared for me to go back to work. My son can't play ball tomorrow, he just got over open heart surgery from last year, so this is a big deal," said the single mother Friedrichs.
She added over $1,200 worth of equipment was stolen from the backseat.
"We survived heart surgery, survived the one-year anniversary, we've struggled and now this happened," Friedrichs told WCNC.
Police aren't naming the juvenile, but say an 11year-old has been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.
"Never would I think a child would do this to me," said a distraught Friedrichs.
We know he is just one year older than Connor, Friedrichs' son, the one who had all of his baseball gear stolen.
"I've been feeling good after heart surgery. I knew I was set for the year, then this happened. I was hoping for my first game with my new league," said Connor.
The car now reeks of cigarette smoke and it's causing problems for the family.
"I can't put my kids in the car because of the smoke. They both have heart conditions," said Friedrichs.
So how did the keys to this 2010 Chevy Malibu get into the wrong hands in the first place? Friedrichs says the student stole them.
"He was gone for too long. I said, 'let me go check my car,' it was the only spot open in the parking lot. The student that did it, they got him, he can go back to school, so it's pretty scary. I've been teaching 16 years, dealing with kids for 25 years. It's scary to know this child has a record and nothing is being done about it," Friedrichs said.
We reached out to the school but they declined to answer questions. Friedrichs says it was the student's family that turned in the keys. The car had been abandoned at a dead end street.
A GoFundMe account has been started for the family and Connor's stolen baseball equipment. If you'd like to contribute, click here.