Car stolen with child inside; child found safe

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A hectic search unfolded in Indianapolis Friday morning after a car was stolen with a 6-year-old girl inside.

“It just happened in one minute or two minutes, and then the car disappeared,” the victim’s cousin, Juan Rodriguez, said. “Everybody was crying then.”

The theft happened around 6:30 a.m. in the 300 block of East Southern Avenue. The 2017 Chevy Camaro was warming up in the driveway when the suspect saw an opportunity and stole the car, police said.

The family was packing up to for a road trip to Alabama to attend another family member’s college graduation.

“We were praying. That's all we did. Praying, praying, praying, asking to god to help us,” Rodriguez said.

Police flooded the area looking for the car and the 6-year-old girl inside. About a half-hour later, police found the car in the 1500 block of Hoefgen Street, but the child was not there.

During the search, a woman dropped the child off at the McDonald’s on Keystone. Police believe she is a friend of the suspect and was not responsible for stealing the car.

The girl has been reunited with her family.

“This is the classic example of what we talk about how quickly these things can happen and they can escalate,” IMPD Sgt. Christopher Wilburn said.

Sgt. Wilburn added this is an issue the department sees on a yearly basis and this winter they have the message for the residents of Indiana, don’t leave your car unattended.

“Always have eyes on that car. Don’t leave it unattended. Don’t even lock your keys in your car and keep it idling,” he said. “I think it’s important for people to keep hearing this… We’re going to keep saying the same thing. Often times it may sound like a broken record, but we don’t want these things to happen.”

IMPD Detectives are still working on a suspect description from today’s theft.