Man who stole car and toddler caught on camera

December 6, 2011 9:23:56 PM PST
There's a major new development in the search for a man who stole a car with a two-year-old boy inside. It happened at a west Harris County convenience store and we have the surveillance video that could help deputies find that man.

That suspect was seen at a hospital in the Heights. He walked up to someone in the parking lot, handed over the two-year-old boy, then fled. That child's mother couldn't be more thankful to have her son back.

Two-year-old Jermaine Jones is dunking his play basketball like a champ. His hour-long ride with a criminal on Monday night hasn't rattled his game a bit.

"He's here," said Jermaine's mother Lucresa Dobbins. "So I'm just happy."

There was a point when Dobbins didn't know if she'd ever see her son again. At about 7pm Monday, Dobbins ran to their neighborhood corner store. It's walking distance from their home, so she says she put Jermaine in the front seat and then left him in the running car while she ran inside.

"Even though I left him for that second, my eyes were there," she said.

Dobbins can be seen on gas station surveillance video checking on her car from the register and then running out the front doors.

"By the time I made it out, he was just hopping in the driver's side," Dobbins recalled.

Deputies say the man who stole Dobbins car along with her precious cargo can also be seen on surveillance video.

Dobbins said, "He's trying to put the car in reverse and I'm like no, no!"

The desperate mother tried to shield the car with her body but it was too late. The man drove off and wasn't seen or heard from for an hour.

Dobbins said, "All I kept saying was where is he going to take him? People were leaving the store just to make sure he didn't drop him on the side of the street ."

But he didn't. The agonizing hour ended with a tearful reunion between mother and son when authorities learned the thief dropped the child off at a hospital in the Heights, 20 miles from where he stole the car.

"A lot of times they don't get their kids back," Dobbins said. "That could've been me and there's no way I could've went on with my life."

So today Jermaine's basketball dunks and his laughter mean so much more to a mom who says she's learned her lesson.

"I'm beating myself up like why, why, why did I leave him," she said. "It tore me up."

That suspect is still on the run Deputies are looking for him and a stolen getaway car. It's a 2007 black Chevy Impala with license plate DSH 128. Anyone with information is asked to call the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

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