A car with a 3-month-old girl in the back was taken after the infant's mother left the vehicle running outside a liquor store near South Los Angeles, but it was located soon after with the child inside, unharmed.
"We have our baby now," said the mother, who did not identify herself.
The Dodge Caliber van was taken by a woman Wednesday about 5:50 p.m. from a parking lot in the 17700 block of Vermont Avenue, according to Sgt. Susan King of the sheriff's South Los Angeles Station.
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"The victim parked her car at market, left child in the car," said Lt. Michael Modica. "She came outside, and saw someone take off with the car."
It was found about 45 minutes later about six miles away, near the intersection of 85th Street and Halldale Avenue in the Manchester Square section of South Los Angeles, King said.
Someone reported finding the car abandoned with the unattended child inside, the sergeant said.
Eric Chandler said he saw the baby in the car, unattended, and guessed she was inside it for about an hour.
The woman suspected of stealing the van was described as black, 20 to 23 years old, wearing a white bandana, grey sweatshirt and had numerous star tattoos on her back, Modica said.
Surveillance images from the liquor store show two men inside the store and the vehicle they used to follow the stolen van.
There are no plans to charge the mother, investigators said. The thieves could face charges of child endangerment and grand theft auto.