11-year-old Minneapolis boy convinces car thief to let him and siblings out of stolen van

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A boy’s brotherly instincts kicked in at the right time to convince a car thief to let him and his siblings out of their van.

Sunday, Minneapolis police say a car was stolen near Lake Street & 12th Avenue South with five children inside — Edwin Rivera, an 11-year-old from Minneapolis, was one of the children and his four brothers were the others.

“He said that he needed the car, that’s all,” Rivera said about the person who stole his family’s van, adding: “I told him that if he wanted it he could take it, but just to let us go.”

Rivera said they were at a store when it happened. His mother went in and his father stayed in the van, but says his mother left her phone in the car and his father ran in to remind her to get something.

“My dad told me to lock it, and right when I got up my dad went into the store and then the guy started running towards the door and he [got there before I could lock it],” Rivera said.

That’s when his brotherly instincts kicked in, quickly urging the suspect to let them out of the car.

The car thief and kidnapping suspect did just that, letting Rivera and his brothers out near 29th Street East and 12th Avenue — soon after the brothers were reunited with their parents.

“It was terrifying,” Rivera’s mother, Ilse Rivera, said about the ordeal.

She said it happened so quickly and that they are very proud of their son.

Minneapolis police have found their van — telling 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS police pulled it over around 1 a.m. Wednesday and arrested the driver for driving the stolen van.

Police say they’re still investigating to find out who stole the van Sunday.

This adds to a very long list of vehicle thefts the city has dealt with. As of June 1, 2022 1,920 vehicle have been stolen — that’s up from 1,584 during the same time last year.

MPD also reports there have been 205 carjackings in 2022 as of the first of June.