Now, Oakland police have arrested the girl's father for lying to officers in hopes of getting his car back quicker.
OPD Investigators have arrested the father of the 3 yr old for filing a false police report. Earlier in the day the 3 yr old was w/ father, but at the time the vehicle was stolen the 3 yr old was safe w/ mother. Father lied to police in hopes police would find car quickly. pic.twitter.com/OhV4nDHTd9— Oakland Police Dept. (@oaklandpoliceca) May 12, 2019
Eyewitness News obtained surveillance video from Saturday night that shows a suspected car thief getting into a silver Mercedes outside a liquor store in Oakland, while the owner was inside.
Seconds later, the Mercedes is seen driving off and the owner is seen running after the stolen car into traffic.
The car's owner told Oakland police his 3-year old daughter was in the backseat of the car.
The case prompted an Amber Alert.
The car was recovered hours later after it crashed into a bus stop. The suspect was taken into custody, but the child was not inside.
Police say that's because the child was never in the car to begin with. She was at home, safe with her mom.
The father was arrested for making a false police report in hopes law enforcement would find the Mercedes quicker, according to authorities.
"I don't think that's right, I feel like there's other ways to get your car back," said Tadaysha Dewalt.
Dewalt, who lives in Oakland, can't believe the story.
"I'm glad baby is safe, that's the most important thing, that baby was not in the car," Dewalt added.
The identity of the child's father has not been released. It's unclear if police contacted the child's mother before issuing the Amber Alert on Saturday.
OPD located missing 3 year-old child who was reported taken during a carjacking. Child is safe. The suspect in the car jacking has been taken into custody. pic.twitter.com/niKs1KgKLj— Oakland Police Dept. (@oaklandpoliceca) May 12, 2019