Carjackers take vehicle with child inside

June 13, 2008 5:10:09 PM PDT
It was a terrifying trip for a little boy. He was in the back seat of his mother's SUV when it was carjacked in northwest Houston Friday. The mom left the boy alone in the truck at a grocery store on Market at Airline. That's when it was stolen. The boy was dropped off a short time later at Houston fire station number 15. And the SUV was later found dumped off of Airline.

"You see it time and time again on the news," said Sgt. Roman Flores with the Houston Police Department.

Amber Garcia just never thought she would be the subject of a news report.

"People leave their kids alone unattended and it only takes a couple of seconds for a thief to take off," said Flores.

Friday morning, that's exactly what happened when the Houston mother made a quick stop at a convenience store on Airlines. With her Expedition running and her son napping in the back seat, Garcia popped her head in the door to ask a quick question.

"She was watching inside, outside both," said store clerk Mohammed Khan.

Suddenly, a man jumped into the driver's seat and took off.

"I said, 'Please give me a baby, please give me my baby'," said Garcia.

"There are three or four guys running after him in a truck and they ran, but he was driving more than 60 miles an hour and they weren't able to catch him," said Khan.

The thief didn't stop, but he did drop the four-year-old off at a fire station less than a mile away.

"I don't care about the truck. He's OK," said John Cooper, the child's stepfather.

In just hours, police found the truck abandoned in the neighborhood and later, they arrested Sigifredo Flores. Our cameras caught the 22-year-old as police brought him to HPD's booking facility. He's charged with theft.

With the man in custody, police say the incident holds an important lesson for everyone.

"Don't leave your children in a vehicle unattended, especially with your engine running," said Sgt. Flores.

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