SAN JOSE, CA – A 2000 Honda Accord was repossessed in the San Jose, Calif., area with a 2-year-old child still in the back seat, according to the Mercury News.
Isabel Luevano was late with her car payment. On Tuesday night, the repo man came. Unfortunately, when they took possession of Luevano’s vehicle, her 2-year-old son, Cyrus Lopez, was asleep in the back seat.
Frantic, Luevano called 911. She thought the car — and her child — had been stolen right before her eyes as she stepped outside to pick up her 6-year-old daughter.
San Jose police found the boy after calling Alberto's Auto Sales on East Santa Clara Street. Through the call, they discovered that Cyrus was in the dealer's lobby.
San Jose police Sgt. Ronnie Lopez said the car dealership owner, Alberto Luna, discovered a boy in the back seat of the car he had repossessed just about the same time police were calling his son, Jose Luna, at the dealership to alert them he had driven off with a toddler. The two promptly confirmed they had the boy.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is looking into what happened. But to arrest on kidnapping charges, Lopez said, police have to show there was intent.
"They could have obviously been more courteous in notifying her that she was facing a repossession," Lopez said. "And it's clear they didn't check the car thoroughly before they took off."
Repossession law in California is not consumer-friendly, said Michael Lindsey, a San Diego attorney who runs the Lemon Law Center.
"If you're five minutes late or 50 cents short, cars can be repossessed," he said.
Luna acknowledged he failed to check the vehicle identification number on the car before taking it, as required by law, but he said he was "sure" it was the right car. He told police he was about a block away from his shop, six miles away, when he noticed the boy. He said he didn't have his cell phone, and when he walked into his dealership, he saw that his son was on the phone with police.