It was supposed to be just like any other repo job for Carmino Giannone.
The Philadelphia tow truck driver had the paperwork and a GPS tracker on a 2006 Ford Windstar and was waiting for an opportunity to repossess it. Around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, the car parked outside a Domino’s in West Philadelphia. Giannone moved in.
He tells ABC6 that he turned his body camera on a few blocks from the silver van, and when he found it, he did a normal sweep of the vehicle with his truck’s spotlight. He hooked up to the car and began to pull out, not thinking anything of “what looked like to be a box under a blanket.”
That “box” was the owner’s 7-year-old daughter, fast asleep in the back. Giannone pulled off.
He didn’t sense something was wrong, even when the owner started chasing after him and screaming. When you’re in the repo business, you hear — and see — just about everything.
“I started to turn the block, I was making the turn. That’s when they said, ‘There’s a kid in the car!’ A kid in the car. You see that all the time as a deterrent for me to stop and check the car. Obviously I’m going to get out of the danger zone,” Giannone told ABC6, referring to an understandable concern for his personal safety at what would have been around 3 in the morning in West Philadelphia.
He says he glanced over his shoulder, didn’t see anything in the car, and kept driving. Philadelphia Police intervened next.
The owner called police and reported the missing car with her daughter inside. A Philadelphia bike officer caught up with the truck and stopped Giannone, but let him go after checking the car and failing to find anything.
Police stopped Giannone again at 50th and Woodland, nearly 2 miles from the scene of the repo, where a police officer spotted the owner’s daughter.
She was, remarkably, still asleep.
Philadelphia Police have not filed charges in the case and have released the tow truck and the repossessed van to Giannone.