Two young British girls found ‘abandoned’ in a rental car in Los Cristianos

  • Local Police
  • 03-07-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: Policia Local de Arona
Two young British girls found ‘abandoned’ in a rental car in Los Cristianos

The Arona Local Police have released information regarding an incident on June 17th when they responded to an urgent alert regarding two young girls locked inside a car in front of the Apolo Commercial Centre in Los Cristianos. A concerned 34-year-old resident of Las Galletas reported that the car, a white Volkswagen Polo rent a car, was parked in the sun with the windows closed.

According to her statement, the older of the two girls told her that their father was at a hairdresser in the shopping centre. As the woman became increasingly concerned, the girl unlocked the car but stayed inside, so after 15 minutes with no sign of her parents, she called the emergency services.

Upon arrival, the Local Police confirmed the presence of the two girls in the car. One of them, a baby less than one year old, and her 7-year-old sister. The officers persuaded the older girl to allow them access to the car, where they found a bag containing yoghurts and juices, along with documentation belonging to the alleged father of the girls. The minors, both of British nationality, were identified through passport copies and the vehicle rental contract found inside the vehicle.

Unable to reach the person responsible for the vehicle, the officers searched for the alleged father in the shopping centre. According to the Policía Local de Canarias report, a 38-year-old British man initially denied any relationship with the girls, and his name did not match the documentation in the car.

After failing to locate either parent, the officers informed the Juvenile Prosecutor's Office, which ordered the transfer of the girls to the Nuestra Señora de la Paz Maternal Centre in La Laguna.

Later, the renter of the vehicle confirmed that the 38-year-old man was indeed responsible for the vehicle. Attempts to locate him were unsuccessful as he had reportedly fled the premises.

A 35-year-old Polish man arrived on the scene, claiming to be a friend of the person responsible for the girls. He stated that the man who fled had asked him to pick up the girls. The officers, however, would not release the minors until their parents were fully identified.

Eventually, the mother of the girls, a 27-year-old British tourist, was contacted and arrived at the commercial centre. After verifying her identity and informing her of the situation, the officers handed over the two children to her.

The police filed the appropriate reports to the Juvenile Prosecutor's Office, considering the incident as a case of child abandonment. The 38-year-old man involved is now subject to arrest for the alleged crime of abandonment of minors, pending further action by the Juvenile Prosecutor's Office and the National Police.

The officers expressed gratitude to the public for their cooperation, especially the caller who assisted as a translator, provided care for the girls, and ensured they were not frightened, even offering food for the baby.