ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say a thief who stole a vehicle with a 4-year-old child in a back seat abandoned the GMC Terrain nearby after realizing the child was inside. The child wasn’t hurt.
Police were searching for the suspect in the car theft, which happened shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday at a gas station near Marietta Boulevard and Bolton Road in northwest Atlanta.
Hilary Grotewold told police she pulled up at an air pump and got out to put air in a tire when the suspect drove off. She said as soon as she bent down, the SUV sped off.
Grotewold told WSB-TV that she jumped on the hood and yelled at the suspect that her son was in the car. She was thrown from the vehicle but continued chasing after it on foot, she said.
“The witnesses stated that a white female was chasing her gray GMC Terrain down the street screaming ‘My baby is inside the vehicle that just got stolen,’” Atlanta police said in a statement.
Police said the suspect abandoned the vehicle at a CVS pharmacy down the street, and the child, Jarren Griffin, was found unharmed.
Construction workers in the area said the car thief was last seen running down Marietta Boulevard toward La Dawn Lane.
It was the second time in less than 10 days that a vehicle with a child inside has been stolen in metro Atlanta.
On May 22, police south of Atlanta issued an alert as they searched for a car stolen from a daycare center with a 1-year-old girl in the back seat.
That child’s mother, Victoria Buchannon, was picking her daughter up from the 24-hour daycare facility. Buchannon then went back into the daycare to get an older sibling, and the suspect jumped into the car and drove off, authorities said.
Police found the missing car and the girl, asleep inside the vehicle in a Clayton County neighborhood a few hours after the car was stolen. The child was unharmed.
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