An accused car thief is now charged with kidnapping after he took an SUV that also had a 2-year-old in the backseat, police say.
The heist was apparently easy, because the car was left running and unattended in a north Charlotte shopping center, media outlets report.
The child was found safe in the snow a short time later, not far from the wrecked Hyundai Sante Fe, media outlets report.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the drama played out in the parking lot of Super Wok restaurant on West Sugar Creek Road around 6:35 p.m., according to the Observer’s news partner WBTV.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
A woman allegedly left the child alone in her running vehicle while she ran inside to order food, reported WBTV.
The vehicle was gone when she came back.
Police said the woman called 911 and some friends, reported WSOC.
“I seen a lady out there yelling and I caught the tail end of a car leaving,” a witness told WSOC. “She was worried, like any mother should be.”
A suspect, Djerry Rosner Cassamajor, has been charged, and he was caught by bystanders who saw the SUV crash, media outlets report.
Cassamajor was seen leaving the vehicle and witnesses chased him down and held him until officers arrived, media outlets reported.
“I said, ‘We're going to catch him,’” one witness told WSOC. “He jumped out and we started chasing.”
Cassamajor is charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, child abuse, first-degree kidnapping and the abduction of a child. Records show he was held in Mecklenburg County last year for extradition as a fugitive from another state.
The toddler wasn't hurt, but the Department of Social Services was notified because the child had been left unattended. Police have not said if the mother will face charges related to the incident, reported WCNC.