Two brothers, ages 3 years and 10 months, rescued from locked car.

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeTheftWGNOCorey Johnson

Not locking your vehicle can lead to more than just theft of items left inside. In could mean a child's life.

A pair of young Chalmette brothers climbed out of an apartment window and, in the extreme heat of a mid-afternoon, got into their father's unlocked car, somehow locking themselves in and not being able to get out, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said. The car's motor was off and the windows were up.

A neighbor who went outside about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, noticed the apartment window open, then luckily saw the two boys, ages 3 ½ years and 10 months, sweating profusely inside the vehicle, Pohlmann said.

The woman couldn't get the door open to rescue them but phoned her boyfriend who came over and got the vehicle open. The children were cooled off and given liquids but weren't otherwise injured.

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office arrested the children's father, who was in his apartment during the incident, for child desertion based on negligent supervision, Pohlmann said. The mother was at work.

Corey Johnson, 31, 3405 Golden Drive, Apt. B, was being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison. No bond information was available. The mother was called and the children were turned over to her.

Pohlmann said, "We preach all the time about not leaving children in non air-conitioned cars in the summer because they can die of heat exhaustion and we routinely tell people to lock their vehicle doors to avoid thefts.''

He added, "Here's an unusual case where leaving a car unlocked could also harm a child because you don't think about them going in and getting locked inside on a hot day. Fortunately someone saw these children.''

The couple who got the children out said they knocked on the door of the apartment where the children lived but got no answer. They gave them drinks at their residence and called the Sheriff's Office.

When sheriff's deputies arrived and got the father to come to the door he said he was upstairs cleaning during the incident and didn't know the children had gotten out of a downstairs window, but said he knew the window didn't lock properly.

A young child died of heat exhaustion in New Orleans recently when left in a vehicle and nationally more than 20 children have died that way this year. Doctors have noted that a child's body temperature heats up 3-5 times faster than an adult.

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