A girl has narrowly managed to escape after the car she was sitting in while waiting for her mother to return was broken into and stolen by a youth in the Northern Territory.
The seven-year-old child was waiting in the back seat of the vehicle on Tuesday afternoon while her mother went inside a shop at the Bakewell Shopping Complex in Palmerston, about 25 km southeast of the Darwin CBD.
About 6pm, an unknown girl, aged 13, got into the car to steal it.
The seven-year-old quickly got out of the vehicle and found her mother inside the shop.
The young offender then stole the vehicle, drove it around Palmerston and picked up a 12-year-old girl.
Police searched for the vehicle and later found it in the Palmerston Golf Course carpark.
According to the NT News, the two young offenders were sniffing deodorant cans inside the vehicle before they were arrested.
Police said the young girls were then taken to their homes.
The pair will be summonsed in court at a later date.
Senior Sergeant Siiri Tennosaar said police were still investigating the circumstances of the incident.
“I thank the members of the public who alerted police to the vehicle’s location, which helped greatly in the quick apprehension of the two youths,” she said.
“It is also a timely reminder to ensure that your vehicles are secured at all times when left unattended as this appears to be an opportunistic theft.”