Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City

For Immediate Release: 9/14/17

Southeast Baltimore — John Bowling was convicted of two counts of false imprisonment, taking a motor vehicle, and two counts of reckless endangerment after stealing a car with two children inside.

Assistant State’s Attorney Mimi Zhuravitsky prosecuted the case.

On January 19, 2017, police responded to the Unit block of North Port Street on a report of a stolen vehicle with two children in the backseat. The vehicle’s owner stated that she placed her two young children—four and 19 months old— in the car and noticed that she forgot to gather diapers for the baby.

She asked her niece to watch her car and children so that she could retrieve the diapers. The woman was inside her home gathering the diapers, when her niece noticed a man enter her vehicle and drive off.

The police were called, and the media was alerted of the car theft and the abducted children. As the events unfolded, authorities received a call that two residents—over a half mile away— had found the children along a sidewalk near an alley. Both children were uninjured. The vehicle owner was subsequently reunited with her children.

Members of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) reviewed footage captured by a neighbor from the area where the theft took place that captured the initial moments of the crime. Bowling was also found on surveillance footage at a nearby business driving the stolen vehicle. The witness testified to the fact in court.

“As a mother of two small children, I cannot imagine the terror this mother felt when this perpetrator drove away with her children,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “I’m grateful for the police, and most importantly the community, for helping ensure the safety of these children, and I am happy we were able to attain justice for this mother.”

Bowling is facing more than 57 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 30, 2017.

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