In a display of bravery and quick thinking, an eight-year-old girl saved her toddler sister during a carjacking ordeal in Milwaukee.
An eight-year-old named Charley, along with her two-year-old sister Autumn, were caught in a distressing situation when their father’s SUV was stolen while they were inside, leading to their rescue after the girl contacted help using her father’s phone.
On a seemingly regular day, Adam Jorgenson was preoccupied with getting his car washed at the Kwik Trip in Oak Creek, unaware of the looming danger. As he stepped away, a carjacker seized the opportunity, driving away with his car and, more terrifyingly, his daughters. However, the carjacker soon abandoned the vehicle a mere mile away after realizing it was inoperable without the key fob, setting the stage for Charley’s courageous actions.
Charley, faced with an unimaginable situation, showcased maturity beyond her years. Instead of panicking, she used the phone left in the car by her father to leave a voicemail for her mother, signaling their dire straits. This voicemail was the first beacon of hope in the harrowing ordeal, showcasing the beginning of their eventual rescue.
Despite the thief's queries about the keys, Charley made the split-second decision to protect her little sister and herself by not confronting the carjacker. "When I realized that dad had the key, I was like, "He can’t do anything without the key," she reasoned, a thought process that may very well have saved their lives by keeping the situation from escalating.
Adam Jorgenson’s brief distraction led to a moment he regretted the instant he realized what had happened. His decision to momentarily leave his daughters unattended in the car while he directed someone has forever changed his outlook on parenting and child safety.
The Oak Creek Police acted swiftly upon receiving information about the stolen SUV and the children inside. Their quick response led to the arrest of three individuals—a 17-year-old, a 20-year-old, and a 21-year-old—on felony charges related to the incident. The safe recovery of Charley and Autumn at a Batteries Plus Bulbs store marks a hopeful conclusion to what could have been a tragic story.
Reflecting on the ordeal, Charley shared her terrifying experience and the rationale behind her decisions.
He told me to get out. What should I do? Should I run and be a scaredy cat or should I save my sister too. So I said, "What about Autumn?” I should try to kick him or defend myself and Autumn. But then, I was like, "I should stay in my seat and do nothing. Stay here, do the questions."
Adam Jorgenson, now more aware than ever of the dangers of leaving children unattended in a vehicle, shared his takeaway from the incident. Milwaukee has seen a staggering 36% increase in car thefts over the past three years, a statistic that places a spotlight on the growing concern for vehicle and child safety in the city.
While the resilience and bravery shown by Charley are commendable, this incident highlights several crucial safety lessons for parents and guardians. First, the importance of never leaving children unattended in a vehicle, no matter how brief the absence may seem.
Second, teaching children about safety measures, including how to use a phone to call for help, can make a significant difference in emergencies. Third, maintaining awareness of your surroundings and potential threats is vital in safeguarding oneself and loved ones. However, it is important to remember that while steps can be taken to mitigate risks, crime can happen to anyone, and victims are never to blame.
This story is not just a narrative of a frightening encounter but a reminder of the unpredictable nature of crime and the importance of preparedness. It underscores the need for community awareness, the vital role of law enforcement in ensuring safety, and the strength individuals can muster in dire circumstances. The bravery of a young girl and the lessons learned from this event resonate deeply within the fabric of our society, prompting reflection on our safety practices and the values we instill in our children.