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Man who allegedly tried to steal minivan with children inside: 'Oh, hey kids ... Guess this is the wrong car'

Union Leader Correspondent

July 11. 2018 9:15AM
Frank Curran was arraigned Monday on an attempted theft charge in Rockingham County Superior Court. (Jason Schreiber)


BRENTWOOD — “Oh, hey kids,” Frank Curran told four children after he allegedly climbed into a stranger’s minivan, turned the key and attempted to put the vehicle in drive.

Authorities said the 49-year-old Hampton man was highly intoxicated when he got inside the gray Town and Country van as it was parked outside the Quik Stop Mobil on Lafayette Road in Portsmouth on the night of July 6. Police said he had been looking for a ride to Hampton earlier.

Curran apparently didn’t know that the children — ages 2, 4, 10 and 11 — were in the van.

According to a police affidavit filed Monday in Rockingham County Superior Court, Curran discovered the kids when the 11-year-old child asked who he was and what he was doing.

“Guess this is the wrong car,” he told the kids before getting out of the van.

As soon as he left, police said the 10-year-old ran inside the store to tell their parents that a man had just been in their van and tried to drive it.

Curran was eventually arrested and charged with attempted theft.

At Curran’s arraignment Monday, Judge Andrew Schulman said it appears Curran was up for a DWI case that night, but not a kidnapping.

Public defender Jim Reis said Curran suffers from bipolar disorder and has battled alcohol for years.

He also has a criminal record and was on parole at the time.

“His record is not spectacular, for sure, but this is a man who has struggled with alcohol for virtually his entire life,” Reis said, adding that Curran is still recovering after being struck by a vehicle in a pedestrian accident in May.

Reis said Curran is seeking mental health treatment and is focused on getting help for his alcoholism.

At one point Curran began to speak out, but he was advised by the judge to listen to his lawyer.

“He would love to bare his soul to you right now,” Reis told Schulman, who agreed to allow Curran to be released on $25,000 personal recognizance bail despite what he called his “wildly inappropriate behavior.”

Schulman said he realized he was taking a chance.

“I’m asking you nicely. Please do what you’re supposed to do,” he told Curran, who must avoid alcohol and comply with parole and any recommendations from his mental health treatment.

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