A mother and her baby were reunited Wednesday after the child was caught up in a carjacking foiled by the victim's quick-thinking, alert residents and LAPD officers.
Los Angeles police responded Wednesday at about 5 p.m. to an auto theft and kidnapping report near 110th Street and Wilmington Avenue in Watts.
A woman at the scene told officers she stopped in the neighborhood due to a flat tire. As she got out of her SUV, a woman got inside and drove away with the victim's baby in the rear seat.
In a stroke of good fortune, the victim's cell phone was still inside the SUV, so officers were able to track it using the phone's location services.
Officers and a police helicopter caught up to the SUV about five miles away in Bell southeast of downtown LA, where the driver crashed. Witnesses pointed out the vehicle to responding officers, who found the baby safe inside.
She was reunited with her mother at the LAPD's Southeast Station. Video from NewsChopper4 showed an officer holding the baby next to a patrol SUV.
"We are glad to report the child was in good spirits and unharmed," the LAPD said in a statement. "The victim’s quick-thinking in tracking her vehicle, coupled with the officers' relentless follow-up and community members pointing out the suspect, resulted in the arrest of a criminal, and more importantly, a mother being reunited with her child."
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Authorities said the carjacker was being booked Wednesday evening.