Minivan repossessed and towed as child sleeps inside

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- A mother has been reunited with her young daughter after police say a tow truck driver who was repossessing her minivan drove off with the vehicle as the child slept in the back seat.

The incident began at 2:30 a.m. Thursday in West Philadelphia.

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Watch Action Cam video as the tow truck driver talks about what happened when he repossessed a minivan with a child sleeping inside.

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.

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Watch Action Cam video on the scene where a minivan was towed away with a child sleeping inside.

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.

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."

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.

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Minivan towed away as child sleeps: Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 5:30 a.m. on June 22, 2017.

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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