By Mark F. Gray
A carjacking inadvertently turned into a kidnapping but led to a happy ending- a saga that began in Prince George’s County and concluded in D.C.
Prince George’s County Police are still investigating the incident that started at a Valero Gas Station on Martin Luther King Jr. Highway in Seat Pleasant on the DC/MD border. According to police reports, an unidentified assailant stole a 2013 Chevrolet Traverse while the woman was pumping gas with her child in the car Feb. 26.
Primary investigators have surmised the suspects jumped into the vehicle awhile the mother was pumping gas, and mistakenly drove off with the child inside, according to Seat Pleasant Police Chief Devan Martin.
Just after getting the frantic 911 call and starting the Amber Alert procedure, Martin said another driver spotted the baby during his press briefing outside the gas station. The unharmed child had been placed on the side of the road, in her car seat, on E Street between 56th and 57th streets in Southeast, D.C.
“We have come from terrible circumstances to triumph,” said Seat Pleasant Police Chief Devan Martin. “The baby has been located. The baby is safe.”
Though it’s not known exactly how long the baby girl was in the car with the unknown suspect she was taken to a local hospital to be examined and was ultimately released.
Local broadcast media reports gained access to a surveillance video from the gas station. WJLA-TV in Washington learned the mother went inside the gas station to purchase candy for the child while the pump was active which provided the opportunity for carjacking and abduction.
When the suspects ultimately recognized they had stolen an occupied vehicle, they dropped off the child in front of Dunn & Sons Funeral Home on Eads Street in Northeast, D.C. funeral and continued their escape. Two women inside the building noticed the car seat outside the building. They secured the child and notified authorities she was safe before relinquishing her to them. The baby girl was reportedly in custody of the people at the funeral home for approximately 30 minutes.
Seat Pleasant Police are still actively searching for the stolen vehicle: a 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, dark in color, with Maryland Tag 4CM8301. Anyone who has seen that SUV or has information on the whereabouts of the two people who stole it is urged to contact Seat Pleasant Police.
This article originally appeared in The Afro.