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Dad Accused of Leaving Young Son in Car for Hours to Go Gamble

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Don Vo’s booking photo. (Courtesy: Placer County Sheriff’s Office)


Placer County Sheriff’s deputies say a man left his 5-year-old son in his car early Tuesday morning while he went gambling.

The boy was found by a woman at 4:30 a.m. as she and her husband were returning to their car Tuesday in the Thunder Valley Casino Resort parking lot, according to investigators. He was reportedly crying and yelling for his father when the woman saw him.

Deputies say the boy crossed a busy driveway in the parking lot by himself before being found. Investigators note that he was found barefoot.

Surveillance video shows the boy’s father, 42-year-old Don Vo, leave the car – and his son – shortly before 2 a.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Vo allegedly gambled until 4:45 a.m., when casino security found him and took him to the security office to be interviewed by Sheriff’s deputies.

Sheriff’s spokesperson Dena Erwin says the child was released to Child Protective Services.

“We take this absolutely seriously. We are going to use that surveillance tape to help prosecute this guy to the fullest extent of the law. We don’t want this happening at Thunder Valley, nor do we want it happening any place,” said Doug Elmets, Thunder Valley Casino spokesman.

Dennis Shanahan contributed to this report.

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