COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A child has been recovered and is safe after a car was stolen with the child still inside in the Northland area of Columbus.
Columbus police received a call at 8:20 a.m. that a man stole a 2017 white Lexus SUV on the 2400 block of Strimple Avenue. Inside the car was a one-year-old girl. CPD has confirmed the child was quickly found and is safe.
The car, an RX350 model SUV with slightly tinted windows, was found in front of a home at the intersection of Pauline Avenue and Greenwich Street, behind the Northern Lights Shopping Center, three miles away from where it was stolen. Police said the car was abandoned with the child inside.
NBC4’s Anna Hoffman was told by police at the scene that the suspect took the car from inside the family’s garage when the mother of the one-year-old stepped inside. A Clinton Township police officer spotted the car in the area and it was found within 25 minutes from the time it was stolen. The baby is now safe with the family.
Mory Conde, the baby’s father, told NBC4 that he can finally breathe again. He said it all happened in a matter of seconds — and in full view of his security camera.
“I didn’t know if I was on this earth or if I was already dead so I was in totally panic mode,” Conde said.
Conde said at about 8 a.m., his wife was loading the kids into the car to go to daycare. While she was grabbing the second child to put in the car, the suspect ran inside the garage and pulled away in the car — with Conde’s infant inside.
“I couldn’t even breathe because I see a lot of this happen on the TV,” said Conde. “I never thought it would happen to me.”
According to CPD Sergeant David Scarpitti, police are searching for and have identified a suspect as a boy in his late teens that could be driving a newer model gray Honda Accord.
“We do have a suspect description thanks to some members of our community. At this time we know that it was a juvenile in their late teens,” Scarpitti said. “We are confirming details of that to make sure that we can get an accurate description out soon. We also believe a suspect vehicle might be involved. We are looking for a gray Honda Accord newer model.”
NBC4 will have more on this developing story as details become available.