The incident began at 2:30 a.m. Thursday in West Philadelphia.
The 26-year-old mother told police she stopped for 5-7 minutes to run into her workplace, the Domino's pizza store at 45th and Chestnut streets.
During that time, Carmino Giannone showed up to repossess her 2006 Ford minivan, not realizing a 7-year-old was asleep in the third row.
Giannone had the paperwork to repossess the vehicle and had been following the minivan's GPS signal.
He told Action News he switched on his body camera a few blocks before arriving, scanned through the tinted windows with his truck's floodlight as he pulled up, and saw "what looked like to be a box under a blanket, so that's why I didn't think anything of it," he said.
Giannone then hitched the minivan to his truck without getting out and left.
Police are trying to determine why child was left alone in car and why she was missed by tow driver. She isn't hurt. pic.twitter.com/YnkPSDVp7d— Katherine Scott (@KScott6abc) June 22, 2017
As he drove away, he says, he heard yelling and saw the mother running outside.
"I started to turn the block, I was making the turn," he said. "That's when they said, 'There's a kid in the car! A kid in the car. You see that all the time as a deterrent for me to stop and check the car. Obviously I'm going to get out of the danger zone."
Tow driver said he had paperwork to repossess minivan, had been tracking its GPS. Says he didn't see child asleep under blanket in back row.— Katherine Scott (@KScott6abc) June 22, 2017
Giannone said he rounded the corner, checked the vehicle, saw nothing and continued.
Meanwhile the mother called police and an alert for the tow truck went out.
Giannone says a bicycle officer who heard the alert pulled him over, checked the car, too, then let him go.
It wasn't until he met police at 50th Street and Woodland Avenue that an officer spotted the girl's leg through the window.
After speaking to the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit Thursday morning, Giannone said he was cleared to take his truck and the minivan he repossessed and go.
"We're still concerned why this chain of events unfolded how they did," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told Action News.
No charges have been filed in the case.
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