FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The search is on for a man who, police said, stole a car at a Fort Lauderdale gas station with the owner’s 2-year-old daughter still inside, then bailed from the vehicle.
According to Fort Lauderdale Police, the subject stole the vehicle from the Chevron station at 1095 W. Sunrise Blvd., Monday afternoon.
Surveillance video captured the owner of the vehicle as she entered the gas station’s convenience store. A man in a blue athletic jersey watched the woman, then slowly walked out.
Moments later, the man is seen getting into the car. The footage then showed the woman as she ran outside and jumped on the hood of the dark-colored sedan.
The car’s owner, who asked not to be identified, spoke with 7News hours later.
“My child is in there. Of course. My child was in there. Any parent would do that,” she said.
Police said the woman screamed that her child was in the car, but she was unable to stop the subject.
An exterior surveillance camera captured the car driving out of the gas station while the ca’s owner ran after it, then stopped.
Police said the car’s owner found a good Samaritan, jumped into another vehicle and chased the subject while she dialed 911. She followed her own car to a nearby residential neighborhood.
Area resident Latoya Wallace said she had an encounter with the speeding car that was a little too close for comfort.
“When we left the house, I saw two cars speeding with each other, and it came so fast that it almost hit the back of this car,” she said, “so I’m like, ‘Uh-uh, they almost hit us.’ Then, as we’re going down, an SUV came speeding real fast. I said, ‘Wait, they must be chasing each other or something. Something must be happening.'”
The subject crashed into some trash cans before coming to rest on a swale along the 1700 block of Northwest Third Court.
“The car broke the trash, opened the door, he ran,” said Tony Olivera, who works nearby.
The car owner’s daughter was found safe.
Police set up a perimeter extending across several blocks and questioned someone who ended up not being the subject. That person was released.
The owner of the car later arrived at the scene and drove off in the vehicle.
“Lesson learned, lesson learned,” she said. “There’s still crazy people out here. Lesson learned.”
The subject remains at large.
If you have any information on his whereabouts, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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