LUFKIN, Texas — The Lufkin Police Department is warning parents/guardians to not leave children in hot vehicles.
According to Lufkin police, officers responded to two calls of children left in vehicles in the past three weeks. One in which the vehicle was left running with children too young to be left alone. Another in which the children were old enough to be left alone but the vehicle was not left running.
Police say citations were written to each of those parents/guardians.
Police want to remind everyone to not leave children or fur babies in a hot vehicle, temperatures can rise to deadly levels quickly.
Also, a thief could break in to steal the vehicle, not see the child and take them in process. Or, the child could get out of the vehicle and get ran over or abducted in the parking lot. The scenarios go on.
A child must be at least 7 years old to be left unattended in a vehicle, according to the Texas Penal Code. They can be younger than that if they are being supervised by someone who is at least 14 years of age.
The charge of leaving a child unattended is a Class C misdemeanor. Doing so is also considered “neglectful supervision” and subject to Child Protective Services investigation.
Citations written by Lufkin PD for leaving a child unattended in a vehicle by year:
- 2020 – 2
- 2019 – 1
- 2018 – 3
- 2017 – 0
- 2016 – 1
- 2015 – 2