Family still shaken up after thief jacked car with daughter inside

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–A Connecticut family is still shaken up after being carjacked early Saturday morning. The suspect took off with their little girl and later dropped her off down the street.

They didn’t want to give their names, but they shared their story exclusively with News 8.

The fear of losing a child ran through this man’s head when his wife shouted out these words: “The car is gone! The child is in the car!”

He tells News 8 the unthinkable happened when he went into a gas station on Capitol Ave in Hartford to pay for gas around 1:30 Saturday morning. His wife was in the passenger’s seat and his daughter was sleeping in the backseat when a stranger jumped in the driver’s seat.

Related: Hartford PD: man steals car with child sleeping in backseat

“She immediately opened the door and started shouting for help, and he just drove off,” the father said.

The suspect didn’t realize a five year-old girl was in the car. Just a short distance down the road, police say he dropped her off on a sidewalk. A woman heard the loud noise when the suspect slammed on the brakes and took off. She went outside to help the little girl.

The father says, “She was an angel for us. The devil did what he did to us, and thank God the child was safe and this angel came in and took her inside.”

The father says it was about 30 minutes later when he learned his little girl was okay. He’s proud of how brave she was. In fact, she asked her dad if she could chime in. She said, “The police put me in his car and brought me back to my family.”

Police say the family was very lucky in this situation.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley said, “People are vulnerable at bank machines and gas pumps and this is where they need to be careful and if you leave your family in the car or valuables, lock your doors when you go inside.”

The man says that sadly, when his wife went to the lock the door, the suspect already jumped in. He also said the reason they were out so late is they were leaving a family party. He says, “I don’t know what we could’ve done differently,” he said.

Police were able to track down the 2014 white Rav-4 the man was driving. It’s company car with a tracking device in it.

Police say the suspect is a light-skinned black man who stands about 5-8 to 5-10.

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