Just last month we had an incident in San Francisco in which a car was stolen with a child still in the backseat, and now we have another in Oakland, which happened on Tuesday.
Oakland police received a frantic call Tuesday afternoon after a mother said her car was stolen near the Oakland Coliseum with her two-year-old toddler still in it.
The thieves, in this case, appear to have wanted to avoid a kidnapping charge — too late! — so they quickly dropped off the toddler "near a warehouse" in San Leandro, several miles away. Callers reported seeing the abandoned toddler "wandering the streets" to police, and the mother was quickly reunited with her child.
It appears to have been a couple of hours later, around 7 p.m. Tuesday evening, that the Marin County Sheriff's Office became involved. The woman called them saying she had tracked her car, with her cellphone still inside, to a parking lot outside the McDonald's in Strawberry (near Mill Valley).
According to a release, deputies arrived at the McDonald's and found the car abandoned there.
Surveillance video captured a male and a female suspect leaving the vehicle, and the carjacking victim said she subsequently could see her cellphone — via the Find My phone app — moving toward Tiburon, maybe to the ferry?
Police swarmed the area and were able to apprehend the two suspects, who were trying to flee on foot.
They have been identified as 34-year-old Viorel Andrei Morari of Oakland, and 31-year-old Carly McVicker of San Leandro.
It's unclear what charges the pair face, but Morari was reportedly booked on suspicion of kidnapping and carjacking.
Oakland police responded to the scene and arrested the pair, and began processing the stolen vehicle as well.
"The Marin County Sheriff's Office is thankful for the positive outcome, including the safe recovery of the child, along with the joint effort from all responding agencies," the sheriff's office said in a statement.
In December, something similar occurred when a man in SF's Ingleside neighborhood had his car stolen with his daughter in the backseat. In that case, the thieves just abandoned the car with the child still safe inside about ten minutes later.
Three years ago, a DoorDash driver had his vehicle carjacked on Jackson Street in Pacific Heights with two children still inside, prompting an Amber Alert.
The four-year-old girl and one-year-old boy were found about five hours later, with the vehicle having been abandoned in the Bayview.