A toddler was found in a stolen car after it was discovered by police.
Police searched for an hour-and-a-half Sunday morning after a car in Queens was stolen with a child still inside the vehicle. New York Daily News reports that, fortunately, the child was found unharmed when cops tracked the car down.
Two-year-old Gabriella was returned to her mother around 2 a.m.
Gabriella’s mother left the car keys inside the vehicle when she dashed into a Pacifico Food Corp. to buy diapers around 12:30 a.m., according to authorities. When she came back, her car was gone with her daughter inside.
The mother ran back inside the store frantically telling the clerk what happened.
“Somebody took my baby!”
In the end, police found the stolen car at the corner of 98th Street and 47th Avenue, which is about 12 blocks from where it was taken.
Both the toddler and the stolen car were okay with the exception of the car having a broken window. It took police under two hours to find the car with the baby still inside. Police officers did a city-wide and block-by-block search. They think the criminal likely abandoned the car when he noticed a young child was in the back seat.
Police haven’t yet captured the suspect.
According to Times Ledger, the girl was taken to Elmhurst Hospital for observation. Police say the toddler suffered no “apparent injuries.”
The suspect who stole the woman’s car is described as a “5-foot-9 male with an average build, wearing a white T-shirt and a baseball cap,” the NYPD says. The incident is still under investigation, but the mother will not be charged with anything.
In a report out by the New York Post, the mother’s name is Karina Rojas. She recalls the feeling of sheer fear when Gabriella went missing in the car.
“Two hours, the worst two hours of my life. It cannot be described in words. It was the worst two hours of my life.”
Rojas, 28, said she couldn’t find a parking spot in the pouring down rain early Sunday morning.
“I was trying to find parking, it was raining. So I see the grocery store and I figure I take care of this before my daughter wakes up.”
She was relieved to get the toddler back after she was found in the stolen car. A missing child is every parent’s worst fear, next to the death of one.
[Photo Credit: Ellis Kaplan via New York Post]