Several inmates in Florida are being praised for breaking into a couple’s locked car and rescue their trapped toddler.
The inmates put their unconventional skills to the test outside a courthouse in New Port Richey on Thursday morning, Tampa Bay station WFTS reported. They heard about the parents’ situation while repairing medians in the same parking lot.
“Only when the deputies are around we give permission, [asking], ‘Can you break into that car?’” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told the station, describing the inmates as low-level offenders.
According to the girl’s mother, it was her husband who absent-mindedly left the keys inside their Chevy Tahoe as their 1-year-old daughter, Dallas, quietly sat buckled in the backseat.
“He puts her in the car seat and straps her in. He tosses the keys to the front seat. He shuts her door and goes to open his door and all the doors are ... locked,” the mom, Shadow Lantry, recalled in a video posted to Facebook.
Lantry, reached by HuffPost on Sunday, credited local sheriff’s deputies with calling the inmates over to lend a hand within a few minutes.
Video capturing the resulting ordeal shows several inmates wearing striped uniforms using a wire coat hanger to unlock the door as Dallas calmly watches from inside while sucking on a pacifier. After a couple minutes, the door opens, triggering the car alarm and cries from both mom and baby.
“Thank God,” Lantry joyfully exclaimed once the door was open. “Thank God for all the criminals in the world. I respect all y’all,” Lantry later added.
The little girl was found to be all right.