Mom's SUV recovered after it was stolen from the Adventure Science Center's parking lot

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-15 19:49:48-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A trip to to the Adventure Science Center on Sunday took a turn for the worst.

Stephanie O'Neal was shocked, but she takes full responsibility.

"So we were just going home and were going to go take a nap, we go out and surprise you have no car," said O'Neal. "It was a stupid mistake. I left my key in my car just not thinking about it while you're shuffling kids into the science center."

On her way home, she actually saw the young suspects on a joy ride.

"We were on our way home and see our car drive past, I was on the phone with dispatch following our car up and down Shelby as they're doing like 20 miles per hour," O'Neal said.

They got away. A witness in Madison spotted the suspects running away from the stolen car and called police. The SUV was taken here to Metro's impound lot, and fortunately it isn't totaled. They paid $175 to get it out.

Her kid's car seats and other items are gone.

O'Neal said, "We had a case of wine, a yeti cooler, and I had rented a couple dresses from Rent the Runway and they were valued at $600 a piece."

While cleaning up the mess, O'Neal and her husband found a stolen package in their SUV.

"Looked like a GoPro and camera mount," she said.

Now, O'Neal wants the parents of the suspects held accountable.

O'Neal said, "I'm so woke about this and I'm really going to do everything that I possibly can to get this on every ear!"

It takes a village to stop crime.

O'Neal said, "I believe in East Nashville, I believe in my community and I believe that with awareness that we can make some changes."

After the ordeal, the couple plans on buying GPS trackers for their vehicles. Last year, 158 stolen vehicles were recovered by the Juvenile Crimes Task Force. They've already recovered 5 stolen vehicles in 2019 and returned them to their owners, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department.