CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Police arrested a man accused of stealing a van left running outside a Charlotte hospital Saturday afternoon with a child inside.
Officers said Michael Crittenden, 26, was arrested Sunday night on unrelated charges in Conway and as he was being booked, they learned of his outstanding warrants in connection to the vehicle theft in Charlotte.
Crittenden is accused of stealing a gold 2016 Kia Sedona from the Presbyterian Medical Center on Hawthorne Lane that had been left unattended with a 1-year-old inside.
According to officers, the child was found safe after being dropped off by Crittenden at a gated apartment complex on Water Walk Lane and was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
Channel 9 spoke to parents who said the crime is troubling for several different reasons.
"That is concerning, but I think if someone leaves someone in a car that should be the first responsibility not to do so and I think crime can happen anywhere," said hospital visitor Richard Eddie. "If you give someone the opportunity they take it, but I don't think it matters where you're at. If it's the hospital or the best neighborhood in the world it can have crime."
(Photo example of van)
Other parents said it's a shocking reminder of what they hope to never do.
"I've heard of it happening but, really not in this area and especially in broad daylight that's really odd," hospital visitor Tina Vickers said. "I've got a six-year-old grandson and it terrifies me that someone could do something like that. Keep your car doors locked, don't leave them open, keep your keys with you, just common sense stuff."
Police are warning people not to leave children and pets in vehicles that are running and unattended.
Officials said the stolen van was also found in Conway.
Crittenden was charged with first-degree kidnapping, larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He will be extradited back to Charlotte.
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