CHARLOTTE, N.C. – One person has been arrested in connection with the theft of a pickup truck with two children inside from a south Charlotte convenience store Sunday night.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, an adult male and female were at the QuikTrip store at the corner of Clanton Road and South Boulevard before 5 p.m. when a suspect stole their dark gray 2016 Ford F-150 pickup. The victims told police the truck was left running in the parking lot with their two sons inside.
On Monday, officers located the stolen pickup on West Boulevard. CMPD's helicopter followed the vehicle until the suspect ran from the truck and tried to escape on foot in the 700 block of Rodney Avenue. A K9 team was dispatched and located the suspect.
The suspect was identified as Howard Lenzy Watson, 46. He was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, kidnapping, fraud, and false pretense. He is currently being treated at Carolinas Medical Center for treatment of his injuries that he received from a K9 bite.
The boys, who are 11 and 13 years old, respectively, were able to escape the truck without injury. Police said the 13-year-old jumped from the vehicle as the truck traveled south along South Tryon Street. The boys' mother said they are OK physically, but everyone in the family is shaken up.
"As a parent, my heart would just drop," said Hali, another parent at the store.
"For someone to not only steal someone's car, is bad enough, but to steal someone's children inside," Hali said. "They could have gotten hurt jumping out of the car, the could have gotten hurt by the perpetrators, it could have gone a number of ways."
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.