HOUSTON – Houston police say a 10-month-old baby girl was found safe after the truck she was in was stolen from a gas station in northeast Houston Friday morning. As of Friday evening, officials are still searching for the suspects.
Police say at about 9:35 a.m., a mother called to report her truck was stolen from the Valero gas station at 6566 Homestead Road. She told police her baby was in the backseat of the truck.
Police say the mother got in a different car and followed the truck.
As of 9:55 a.m., Houston police say the truck was recovered at 7401 Elbert Street near North Finch Circle and the baby girl was found safe. Officials are searching for the suspect.
Houston police used a helicopter and K9 units to search the area for the suspect but as of Friday evening, he was not yet found.
The suspect is described as “a skinny Hispanic male with a beard, wearing a blue hoodie & dark blue pants,” police tweeted. There was a second suspect, a black man who was about 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing about 220 lbs, police say. The second suspect was wearing a black coat and red T-shirt and was seen in a dark Toyota RAV 4.
‘I was so afraid thinking he was gonna panic cause she was gonna cry.’
The still-shaken mother spoke to KPRC 2 Investigative Reporter Mario Diaz after her daughter was returned to her, about the terrifying moment she saw a man drive away in her truck. She did not wish to show her face on camera but allowed for KPRC 2 to show her child.
“He (the suspect) did not speak to me,” she said. “I (ran) out, when I was walking out the store... I heard a door shut. By that time, I ran towards the truck, jumped on the back. He took off and I fell off the truck, (sic)" she said.
The mother told KPRC 2 the “worst things came in my head" when the suspect drove away with her child.
“I was so afraid thinking that maybe he was gonna panic 'cause she was gonna cry and probably killed her or threw her somewhere, (sic)” she said.
Twenty minutes later, when she was reunited with her child, she said the baby was crying and sweating.
“I just hugged her and tried to comfort her cause she was crying and sweating. He left her in a hot car. Left my child in a hot car by herself,” she said.
The woman said she had left her phones in the car and she hopes officers can track them using GPS to find the suspect.
“Around these times I’m guessing they’re (the suspects) just trying to find a way to eat but this is not okay and parents ... have your kids near to you at all times,” she said.
The manager of the gas station gave the woman the $10 she had paid to get gas just as the thieves were stealing her truck.
Car theft caught on camera
Surveillance footage from the gas station shows a dark SUV pull up behind the pickup truck that was parked at a pump. A man in a blue hoodie got out of the SUV and walked casually around the pickup truck, peeking inside the windows. He then got in the truck and started to drive. At that moment a woman can be seen running toward the pickup truck, trying to stop him.
The suspect in the pickup truck and the SUV are seen speeding away and the woman stops another pickup truck, gets in and appear to follow the suspect.