VW Wouldn't Help Cops Find Car with Abducted Child Until GPS Subscription Was Restored

A dirty trademark of the car manufacturer Volkswagen is covered with drops of water at dawn.
A dirty trademark of the car manufacturer Volkswagen is covered with drops of water at dawn.

Police in Lake Country, Illinois weren’t able to track a stolen Volkswagen with a two-year-old child inside because the automaker wouldn’t provide access to its Car-Net vehicle tracking service. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas’s subscription had expired, according to The Chicago Sun Times.

A representative from Car-Net reportedly wouldn’t give access to the service until someone paid the $150 fee to restart the service and locate the Atlas. This happened despite the fact a detective reportedly pleaded and explained the “extremely exigent circumstances.” The representative apparently cited company policy as the reason.

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“The detective had to work out getting a credit card number, and then call the representative back to pay the $150, and at the time the representative provided the GPS location of the vehicle,” Christopher Covelli, the sheriff’s office Deputy Chief, told the Sun Times.

Unsurprisingly, it didn’t even matter at that point. By the time tracking was restored, nearly 30 minutes had passed. Police had already located the Atlas.

“So it was at that point worthless,” Covelli said.

Volkswagen gave the following statement to Jalopnik in regard to the situation:

Volkswagen takes the safety and security of its customers very seriously. Our thoughts are with the victims and their family. Volkswagen has a procedure in place with a third-party provider for Car-Net Support Services involving emergency requests from law enforcement. They have executed this process successfully in previous incidents. Unfortunately, in this instance, there was a serious breach of the process. We are addressing the situation with the parties involved.

“Obviously it’s a major concern when there’s information that could potentially save a life, and there are major hurdles that one has to jump over to try to get that information,” Covelli told The Sun Times. “Most companies understand those things take significant time when time is of the essence, and the information is needed now to potentially save a life.”

According to a Facebook post from the Sheriff’s Office, the boy was left unharmed in a Waukegan, Illinois parking lot. His 34-year-old mother, who is six months pregnant, was actually run over by the carjackers and unfortunately suffered several broken bones. She was taken to the hospital in serious condition and is now receiving treatment.

Photo:  Lake County IL Sheriff’s Office
Photo: Lake County IL Sheriff’s Office

The whole incident began when the mother pulled into her driveway and brought one of her children into the house. When she returned to get her two-year-old, a white F10 BMW 5-Series pulled into her driveway and a male passenger got out. A struggle ensued between the woman and the thief. He ended up knocking her to the ground, getting into the SUV and running her over as she drove off.

Right now, no arrests have been made as police continue to search for the BMW. The man is described as tall and thin, wearing a gray zip-up sweatshirt and a light green face mask.

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