Boy, 5, left in car stolen from lot

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, April 22, 2015

LAPLACE — Three to five minutes.

That is how long a woman told authorities she was in Fred’s Super Dollar in LaPlace while her 5-year-old godson was left unattended in a vehicle outside that had the keys in it and the engine running.

Travis Wilson

Travis Wilson

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said a male perpetrator took advantage of the situation, which presented itself at approximately 1:43 p.m. Friday, getting in the vehicle and driving away.

The female victim exited the store, saw the car and child gone and called 911 for assistance. She told deputies a witness gave her a description of a male subject who had stolen the car.

Deputies found the car on Parish Road near Elm Street in LaPlace, and the 5-year-old boy who was left unharmed and safe. Authorities said the child “was visibly shaken but physically OK.”

Deputies located a suspect in Winn-Dixie a short time later and identified him as Travis Wilson, 34, of Donaldsonville. Deputies arrested Wilson and booked him with theft of a motor vehicle and aggravated kidnapping of a child.

He bonded out of jail Saturday on a $27,500 bond. Authorities said the suspect never indicated if he was aware there was a child in the vehicle when he left Fred’s.

Sgt. Dane Clement said the investigation continues, adding detectives do not have plans to charge the godmother with a crime at this time.

“The one witness that walked up to the girl and who gave a description of the guy who she saw get in the car, that witness left before talking to detectives,” Clement said. “We’re looking for her to come forward and meet with detectives or any witness that saw anything to do so.”

The godmother did not have any other children with her when the car was stolen, authorities said.

Detectives can be reached at 985-359-8769 or 985-359-TIPS.