UAE | General

Baby unharmed after ordeal in stolen car

Parents had stepped out at petrol station leaving engine running

  • By Aghaddir Ali, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 20:20 August 19, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: Sharjah Police
  • Mohammad Ehsan with his wife and baby Lailas. The Syrian couple left Ehsan in the back seat of their car with the engine still running as they went inside a petrol station. A thief drove away with the vehicle, triggering a frantic search by the police.

Sharjah: A seven-hour baby snatch drama, sparked after a thief stole a car with a month-old girl on board, saw police take to social media for help, Gulf News can reveal.

Around 1,730 concerned Twitter users answered Sharjah police’s pleas for help in tracking down the lost child.

And a vigilant Emirati user cracked the case using the description posted online and spotting the car, leading police straight to the infant.

Little Lailas Ehssan was snatched when her parents’ car was stolen from a petrol station in Industrial Area 6, just after 10pm on Saturday.

They left her in the back seat of their white Toyota Prado, with the engine still running in the unlocked car, as they went inside the station.

Within minutes a thief got behind the wheel and sped off, taking Syrian Mohammad Ehssan’s baby daughter with the car.

A source close to the family said: “They only left her in the car for a few minutes, in the back seat, with the air conditioning on.

“They just went into the station to pick a few things up.

“They never thought for a second that something like this could happen, it was all so quick.”

Panicked Mohammad, a Sharjah resident, called in Sharjah Police who spent two hours trying to find the little girl as a police manhunt was launched to find the infant.

By 1am, Sharjah Police posted pleas on their Twitter and Facebook pages, asking the public to help find the child, releasing the make, model and registration of the car.

Sharjah Police Twitter follower, Emirati Ahmad Ibrahim Al Shams, spotted the car from the description posted by police online and immediately alerted officers.

Police then raced to the Muailha area of Sharjah, at 5.45am, where they found the baby inside the car and arrested a male suspect.

The baby was then taken to Al Qassimi hospital to check her condition, which has been reported as unharmed.

Lailas has now been reunited with her parents and discharged from hospital.

Sharjah police warned her parents not to leave their car engine running, especially at petrol stations, and accused them of negligence over the incident - although no formal proceedings will be launched against them.

They are still questioning the suspect as investigations into the incident continue. 

Comments (27)

  1. Added 17:24 August 20, 2012

    thank god, we prayed for the parents

    Abdullah mohammad, Dubai, India

  2. Added 17:16 August 20, 2012

    I always lock my car anywhere i go. i am just 21 years i am not married, but still i care a lot. i just think maybe someone will do this to steal my car!! so this is for everyone single and married, sharing is caring

    Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 16:52 August 20, 2012

    Cant beleive this story...

    maneesh, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 16:29 August 20, 2012

    Indeed this is shocking news in todays world!!!. And guess what, irrespective of fines/warnings/theft, the parents of this 1 Month old child are totally IRRESPONSIBLE/IMMATURE to leave the infant alone. Was it it too much for them to carry the child, let alone 2 mins? Lets not blame the weather/Almighty and the good samaritan, Emirati for the child's safe return. To date, I am a witness of many new-borns/toddlers still being seated in the front seat either with the driver or the passenger, and UAE Traffic authorities should step in and punish the erring drivers with a STIFF fine/IMPOUND the vehicle. This will serve as a deterrent to drivers who play with the law. Shame on these so-called parents.

    Melwyn, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 16:00 August 20, 2012

    Truly is an eid miracle. Parents should be punished, doesnt matter if you left your child in the car for one minute or two seconds. Don't think a hefty fine would be enough for both the parents.

    Ahmad, Sydney, Australia

  6. Added 15:49 August 20, 2012

    A warning to the parents must be issued because already the authorities have alerted the public many times not to abandon their cars with engine on or leave the car un-attended. In this case, they had a baby inside the car - i think now offences are occured in two counts now. Despite all that, the couple might have been thinking their baby would be safe for 2 - 5 minutes as they left the car with a/c on and prevailing to the UAE society, it's ok leaving the car for even 10 - 15 minutes unattended because nothing will happen. But these days scenario has changed as thieves are taking advantage of the UAE's social customs and thus the authorities have alerted the growing crime to the public. It's also a crime when you ignore rule or you are not aware of the daily customs of the society. So, I guess a sweet warning to the couple from the court is appropriate and the authorities should finally lodge a case against the couple.

    Mohammad Faruk Ahammad, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 15:42 August 20, 2012

    you know guys this is really the fault of the parents! How can they leave an infant inside the car and go away? This is really sad

    amad, dubai, Afghanistan

  8. Added 15:34 August 20, 2012

    we should be thankful to Allah (SWT), the sharjah authorities and the Emirati guy for the ultimate chase. The parents should as well be very carefull. But I am afraid of the rising synario. We have 3 kids MashaAllah, we take them out to malls, parks, hospitals and every where else. But we cannot 100% keep an eye on them since we also have to complete the jobs we come out for. We request authorities to give such criminals strict punishment if found guilty and set strong examples for other followers in order to keep our atmosphere save. Thanks all

    hidden, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 14:10 August 20, 2012

    Definitley the parents should get a punishment for leaving the 1 month old infant so carelessly. Whether its car or home, this so unsafe and not way of taking care of a new born.

    Sherine Samarasinghe, Colombo, Sri Lanka

  10. Added 13:18 August 20, 2012

    May Allah shower his rahamath on the Emirati gentleman/may Allah relieve him of his worries as he relieved that of the parents, by Allah's grace and mercy.

    JB, DUBAI, India

  11. View more comments

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