Kids taken in seconds when truck stolen from parking lot in central B.C.

“I just felt dead inside,” says mom of kids abducted from Barriere mall

Every parent’s nightmare became a reality in the small central B.C. community of Barriere in early January.

“If you need a reminder to never leave your kids in the vehicle, no matter how quick you think you’re gonna be it’s never quick enough,” posted Barriere resident Tierra Hammer on Facebook.

“Today I could have lost mine to a crackhead who needed a vehicle so bad she didn’t care my babies were inside. Please spare me the guilt trips and s***y comments. None of us are perfect. I just wanted to share our story to potentially save the other children I always see left in the car.”

Tierra told the Star/Journal the family was packed in their pickup truck for ice fishing, with the kids all bundled in their snow gear.

A quick stop at the grocery store to buy something for lunch and then off on an adventure. However, things didn’t turn out the way they had planned.

“I never leave my babies, but the one time I do, in just a few seconds they were gone,” said the mom.

Tierra says she had left the children in the vehicle with their dad, Mike, while she ran into the grocery store. As she was about to leave the store Mike called on her cell and asked if she was on her way out, which she was. He then left the truck for a quick dash into the drug store.

“As I was coming out of AG Foods I saw my truck leaving the parking lot with a strange woman!” said Hammer.

“And my babies were inside! This was in just a matter of seconds! I was just dead inside!”

Dad also came out of the drug store, and the alarm was raised. People who had seen the truck leave and which way it had gone rallied to help, and the police were called.

Both parents took off in another vehicle to chase the truck which was going north on Barriere Town Road towards the Legion, where it then turned around and retraced its route going south on Barriere Town Road. At this point Mike blocked the vehicle with his and the woman driver pulled quickly into the Liquor Store parking lot and tried to flee from the scene.

“Mike took her down,” said Tierra. “And then the police arrived! I was so happy to see my babies!”

Tierra says her children are four and six years old and have come through the experience unhurt and well. She tells that after the event her daughter told them that the strange woman had just jumped into the truck as soon as Mike was gone and quickly drove the car out of the parking lot.

“My daughter asked her as she drove out onto the road what was she doing, and at that point I think the woman realized there were kids in the truck. She then said to my daughter ‘don’t worry I’ll take you back.’ She turned around at the Legion and then my husband blocked her at the liquor store.”

Tierra said the police have advised her that the woman was not from B.C., but just passing through. She had no prior offences, but “was really bad into drugs.”

She said the police also told her that the woman is presently under very heavy house arrest until she goes for sentencing which will give her time to find a lawyer. Tierra says the woman has been charged with two counts of kidnapping and one of theft of a vehicle. She is also not allowed within 25 km of Barriere.

“She could get over four years in jail,” said Tierra, “The sentence for kidnapping a child is 18 months for each child and then there is the theft of the car that could also be 18 months.”

Tierra said this was the worst thing to ever happen to her.

“I always lock the door. I just want everyone to be aware that no matter how safe you think it is – it isn’t. People do bad things when they get into drugs.”

Editor’s note: Thank you to the Hammer family for sharing their terrible experience in the hopes that it will be a learning experience for all, and will prevent this from ever happening again to another parent.

Just Posted

School District No. 74 anti-racism posters spark controversy

A poster challenging white privilege has drawn the most attention, pro and con.

Parents’ reactions to School District No. 74 anti-racism posters

‘Until I educate myself I am on the fence’ is one response.

TNRD grant for Ashcroft HUB means substantial energy savings

New doors, windows, and lighting will make the HUB building viable for years to come.

Community Connect Expo to help with fire stress and trauma recovery

Full day event will feature a variety of workshops, organizations, and more to provide information.

Health Care Auxiliary lends a helping hand to Better at Home

Donation will help provide services to area seniors so they can stay in their homes and communities.

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Northwest B.C. pellet plant to provide energy to Asia

Pinnalce Renewable Holdings and West Fraser Timber approve construction of plant in Smithers.

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

Most Read