A «serious violation» led to a delay in the recovery of a stolen car with a toddler trapped inside after a Volkswagen car tracking service demanded payment before agreeing to help, the local sheriff’s office said.

The carjacking occurred just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday as a 34-year-old mother was returning to her home in the 16000 block of Route 137 in Libertyville, a town about 35 miles north of Chicago. according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

After taking one of her children home from the car, the woman went to get her other child, a two-year-old, in the car when she found a white BMW parked in the driveway behind her 2021 Volkswagen Atlas. A man got out of the BMW and tackled the woman to the ground as she tried to protect her son before driving away with the child still inside, the sheriff’s office said.

The stolen vehicle with a 2-year-old boy inside in Libertyville, Illinois.Lake County Sheriff

The carjacker and the driver of the BMW he arrived in fled the scene, and one of the drivers struck the woman as they fled, causing what the sheriff’s office described as «serious extremity injuries.» The woman is six months pregnant. NBC Chicago reported.

In their search for the missing child and the stolen car, authorities contacted Volkswagen Car-Net, a service that allows Volkswagen owners to control and track their cars from an app, in an attempt to find the car and the child inside. .

But the company «would not track the vehicle with the abducted child until it receives payment to reactivate the tracking device on the stolen Volkswagen,» the sheriff’s office said in a statement posted on Facebook.

In a statement provided to NBC Chicago, a Volkswagen spokesperson said that it «takes the safety of its customers very seriously.»

“Volkswagen has a procedure in place with a third-party provider for Car-Net support services involving emergency requests from law enforcement. They have run this process successfully in previous incidents. Unfortunately, in this case, there was a serious breach of process. We are addressing the situation with the parties involved,» the statement said.

A Volkswagen spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

Authorities found the boy on the road in the 2200 block of Lakeside Drive in Waukegan, a city about 10 miles northeast of Libertyville, after a person who worked at a nearby business called 911 to report seeing two cars pull up. to the parking lot. where a driver abandoned the child before both cars sped away.

It was not immediately clear how long it took authorities to find the boy. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office could not immediately be reached.

Authorities found the stolen Volkswagen in a parking lot near Casimir Pulaski Drive and Route 43 in Waukegan, according to the sheriff’s office.

The mother of the boy, who was struck in the carjacking, remains in serious but stable condition at a hospital, the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities are still searching for the BMW involved in the incident, which they said was stolen last week from a car dealership in Waukegan.

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