JOHNSTON, IA (KCCI/CNN) - It's like a real-life version of the movie "Home Alone," except in this case, the children were purposely left behind.
Thankfully, police were called before anything bad happened to the kids.
Erin Macke left two 12-year-olds and a 6- and 7-year-old alone in the apartments while she took a vacation to Germany. Macke planned on leaving her kids alone for 10 days.
"All of her sitter options fell through, and she left the kids in the care of the two 12-year-olds," said Lt. Tyler Tompkins, Johnston Police Department. "Luckily we were able to get there the next day, so the chance of something happening dropped significantly."
Receiving a tip from the father of one of the children, police checked in on the children and called the Department of Human Services, who then placed the children with other family members.
"They were concerned. They didn't know. They were confused. I mean, we're only talking about 12-year-olds being the adults here," Tompkins said. "We called her. She answered the phone, had a conversation with our officer, did not see it being a problem,"
Officers told Macke her children were turned over to DHA and convinced her to come home early, which she did - six days later.
Police said they have never experienced something like this before.
"We have situations where parents go next door, or parents may go out for the night, and while that's not advisable either depending on the age of the children, obviously leaving the country is a totally different situation," Tompkins said.
Macke faces a single charge of transfer of pistol or revolver to a person younger than 21. Police said that's because there was a weapon within the children's reach.
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