SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Two young children were kidnapped in a stolen minivan late Saturday night while their father was making a DoorDash grocery delivery in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood and was safely discovered hours later in the still moving vehicle in a driveway across from town, Village.
The children looked scared but unharmed and were taken to a local hospital with their mother to be examined.
Meanwhile, the children’s father – Jeffery Fang – stayed at the scene in the Bayview District of San Francisco and assisted the police.
“The police said they found the car and found the children in it,” he said. “At that moment, it was just elation that they were found … It’s a bad dream, I’m glad it’s nearing the end.”
Police said Fang had the engine running when he was making a food delivery on the 2100 block on Jackson Street with his two children – a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy – around 8:50 p.m.
“I pulled into the condo building’s driveway and made a quick delivery,” said Fang of the incident. “The apartment is very close – I don’t have to go far. I went out in a minute, I see a stranger in my car because I knew it would be quick, I didn’t turn my car off. “
“My children are inside. My youngest child was sleeping and my second child was watching a DVD in the car … I came out with a man in my driver’s seat. I walked up to him and yanked the car door open to say get out. I reached under his arm and tried to get him out. He went into reverse and tried to shake me. I did not give in. “
“When he saw that I wasn’t going to give up … he got out of the car. He took my cell phone and ran with his accomplice to his getaway car so that I could chase after him for my cell phone. I fought the accomplice and the getaway driver – the two of them – in their car for two blocks. They gave me my phone back and I tried to get back here (to the van) as soon as possible. Little did I know they circled back and took my car anyway. “
The police issued an Amber Alert and an intensive search was launched across the city. At around 1:00 a.m., two officers assigned to Bayview Station located the minivan on the 1200 block of Fitzgerald Avenue in the Bayview District. The children were inside, the engine was still running.
During the search, Fang said he and his wife were living a nightmare.
“It’s been years for me, every minute has been excruciating … It’s a happy ending to an unfortunate episode.”
“I am glad that the children were found. The kids are being looked at to make sure they’re okay, ”said Fang. “Thank you very much for the public for the support and helping out. Words cannot express how much I appreciate everything the citizens who have come forward to help, and especially the SFPD – their quick response in trying to locate (the children) … It brings warmth, the humanity of to show everything. “
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott welcomed his department’s collaborative efforts in a news conference on Sunday afternoon.
“Sometimes you have to pull out all the stops in such incidents” and work a lot of overtime, he said, adding, “These two children would not have been found as quickly as they were.”
Scott said the entire shift in the department of around 100 employees worked overtime to find the children, adding that the situation is an example of when such costs are necessary even in tough economic times.
“Sometimes you have to pull out all the stops in such incidents” and work a lot of overtime, he said, adding, “These two children would have been found as quickly as they were.”
He said the department is determined “not to let up until they are found” and praised the great response from the department, neighboring police departments, the media and people on social media to the spread of the abduction.
“In a crisis like this, it takes teamwork to find a successful solution,” said Scott.
A GoFundMe set up by a friend of the family (https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-the-fang-family-after-children-abducted?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet) has more than raised $ 70,000 for the family, which Scott said showed the resilience and concern of not just the Franciscans but the entire Bay Area.
The department is now focused on finding the person or people who stole the car.
Scott personally appealed to those involved to “give themselves up”.
“Surrender,” said Scott. “We won’t give up until we find you.”
Police are asking people in the affected areas to check the surveillance video, particularly on the Jackson 2100 block on Laguna Street.
Scott asked anyone with information or possible videos to contact the department head at (415) 575-4444.
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