Watch CBS News

Car stolen with 1-year-old baby in the backseat in Harlem

Car stolen with 1-year-old girl in backseat in Harlem. How officers found the suspect
Car stolen with 1-year-old girl in backseat in Harlem. How officers found the suspect 02:05

NEW YORK -- A car was stolen with a 1-year-old girl in the backseat Tuesday morning in Harlem. 

The child has been found safe, and charges are pending against the suspect. 

Police said the car was left running with the little girl inside shortly before 9 a.m. on 134th Street near Frederick Douglas Boulevard. Officers caught up with the vehicle about an hour later at 72nd Street and 1st Avenue on the Upper East Side.

Police said the girl was reunited with her loved ones and taken to Harlem Hospital to be evaluated. 

Cellphone in car helped locate stolen car with baby, NYPD says

The owner of Chloe Day School told CBS New York's John Dias the father of one of her students came running back into the school, explaining his car was stolen with his younger child inside.

"He was very upset. If you lost your child, we were all screaming," Dr. Sanayi Beckles-Canton said. "We immediately called 911."

She says the father left the 1-year-old alone in the back seat of his car for less than a minute while it was double-parked as he dropped off his other child. That's when police say a man who was lurking nearby hopped in the car and took off.

"I saw the helicopters and I just went over there, and they already had him out of the car and they were patting him down. Somebody else said they saw them pull the kid out of the car," one witness told CBS New York. 

Police say a cellphone left in the car led them to the suspect and child five miles away.

"We were able to track that phone and make a phone call, and someone picked up -- presumably the perpetrator -- told us where he was and that he was sorry," NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell said.

Chell says the child was unharmed, explaining the outcome of the situation could have been much worse.

"If we didn't find her fast, the weather is going to get warm today, and we didn't want a situation where a baby was left in a car with the heat," he said.

Police allege the 28-year-old suspect stole another car just two days ago as it was left running in Brooklyn.

According to police, the child was in the car for about an hour with the suspect behind the wheel.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.