Grandmother accused of leaving 2 grandkids behind to steal ATV in Georgia

HARALSON COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia woman is facing multiple charges after authorities said she left her grandchildren alone in the rain while she stole an ATV.

The Haralson County sheriff’s office said their deputies were called out to a home on Old Pleasant Hill Road on Wednesday in reference to trespassing. Deputies said they were told that a woman and two children were on the homeowner’s property with a side-by-side ATV.

While deputies were out at the location, they learned that the ATV was possibly stolen. During the investigation, authorities said one of the two children showed up at the house where the ATV was taken and said that he did not know where his younger brother and grandmother were.

During that time, the ATV was found by a neighbor and the younger brother knocked on a door on Highway 100, several miles away from the initial scenes, deputies said. The grandmother was later found in the woods by deputies.

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Authorities later learned that 47-year-old Vanessa Ann Vercruysse, from Jefferson City, Tennessee, was heading to Florida to deliver a dog and ended up on a backroad in Haralson County. She drove off of the roadway through yard and got her vehicle stuck down in the woods. Deputies said Vercruysse got the children out of the vehicle, stole and wrecked the ATV, separated the kids and left them out in the rain alone.

Vercruysse was arrested on charges of cruelty to children in the first degree, theft by taking, drug possession, criminal damage to property and criminal trespass.

“This is a case where a person not only endangered the life of children, but stole and damaged property in our county. She must face the appropriate charges for her very serious crimes,” said Haralson County Sheriff Stacy Williams.

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