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Mom 'traumatized' after carjacker takes baby

Toronto Sun crime reporter Chris Doucette. (Sun files)

By Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun

TORONTO - 

Do you know the mother in this case? Contact the Toronto Sun at 416-947-2211 or e-mail torsun.citydesk@sunmedia.ca

A baby boy was found unharmed after a carjacker made off with the infant when stealing a vehicle at a gas station in Mississauga.

A young mother dashed into a Shell station at Rexwood Dr. and Derry Rd. Wednesday morning and returned to find her Honda CRV, along with the child she left inside, gone.

Peel Regional Police reported the SUV was found abandoned, with the tot inside and unharmed, about 30 minutes after being stolen.

"We were very lucky in this case," Const. Lillian Fitzpatrick said after the mom was reunited with her nine-month-old boy.

"Once the individual realized there was a child in the car, obviously he just wanted to get rid of the vehicle as quickly as possible," she speculated.

The scary car-jacking unfolded shortly after 9 a.m.

"A lady came inside to buy a car wash, then she went back to her car," a clerk at the gas station recalled. "She came back inside to see if anybody saw her car ... Somebody saw a man with his face covered drive off with the car."

The Shell employee said he didn't notice the car being stolen but other customers reported seeing a man running toward the woman's Honda wearing something grey with his face covered.

"He got in the car and drove away," the clerk said.

The clerk called 911 immediately, prompting cops to flood the area and begin a frantic search effort.

Media outlets also began reporting the story and urged people to keep an eye out for the CRV with Quebec licence plates.

Fitzpatrick said a resident of an apartment building on Derry Rd., barely 200 metres west of the gas station, spotted the vehicle in the driveway of their complex and notified police.

The child was located inside the vehicle.

Fitzpatrick said it was fortunate the stolen car was dumped in a busy area where it could be found quickly, so the child was not out in the cold for long.

But for the boy's mom, it was undoubtedly the longest 30 minutes of her life.

The woman did not speak to media following her ordeal, but Fitzpatrick said the mom was "emotionally distraught" and "traumatized." Parents have been charged with negligence for leaving kids unattended in a vehicle, but she said that's unlikely in this case.

"This is a mother that made a bad decision," Fitzpatrick said. "I'm sure that she'll think twice in the future about leaving the child unattended." Investigators are reviewing surveillance video from the gas station hoping to get a glimpse of the car thief.

Fitzpatrick cautioned vehicles should never be left unlocked and running, especially if there are kids inside.

Anyone with information is urged to call police at 905-453-2121 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

-- With files by Irene Thomaidis

chris.doucette@sunmedia.ca

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