Sharjah: The hero at the centre of the seven-hour Sharjah baby snatch drama has spoken of the dramatic events that saw him rescue the one-month-old child.
Speaking to Gulf News, courageous Ebrahim Ahmad Al Shamsi described the moment he found the crying infant alone in a car that had been snatched by a thief.
Al Shamsi sprung into action last Saturday, after Sharjah Police posted alerts on Twitter and Facebook, pleading with the public to help track down the lost girl.
Now Al Shamsi’s little boy believes his dad is a real-life superhero after he led police straight to little Lailas Mohammad Ehssan, safely reuniting the child with her parents.
Father of three Al Shamsi, 34, told Gulf News: “I did not think about the baby’s nationality, I just wanted to return her to her family.”
Around 1,730 Twitter users answered Sharjah police’s pleas for help.
The drama unfolded after Lailas was snatched when her parents’ car was stolen from a petrol station in Industrial Area 6 in Sharjah, just after 10pm on Saturday.
They left her in the back seat of their white four wheel drive vehicle 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.
By 1am, Sharjah Police posted pleas on their Twitter and Facebook pages, asking for help to find the child, releasing the make, model and registration of the car.
Al Shamisi, a 34-year-old retired military man and father of two boys aged seven and five and a daughter aged two, learned the baby was missing after reading Twitter reports on his Blackberry.
He said: “At first I prayed to God to return the baby to her parents but after time passed I became worried about the baby and could not sleep because I was thinking about her.
“I was thinking about the sense of grief a father who lost his baby would feel.”
He jumped into his car and went looking for the baby. He took the registration plate of the stolen car, posted online by Sharjah Police, put it in his mobile and headed out just after 3am.
Al Shamsi said: “I was travelling from one place to another, starting in industrial areas, looking for a glimmer of hope to guide me to the missing baby.”
At the same time, a huge number of police patrols were out on Sharjah’s roads looking for the stolen car and baby.
Describing how he was beginning to lose hope, he said: “At 4.30am I lost any hope of finding the missing girl.
“I decided to go back home to be ready for Eid prayer but before reaching home, I decided to enter University Road after National Paints Roundabout.
“I spotted a car, its engine was on but all the lights were off. I reached the car, I saw it matched the police description and my heart was beating quickly. I ran quickly to the car and saw the little baby was inside, crying. I alerted the police operation room and they told me to stay near the car. Within minutes, police patrols and an ambulance reached the scene.
“The baby was taken to Al Qassimi hospital where her parents were reunited with her. It was an emotional and tearful meeting between Lailas and her parents.”
Sharjah Police want to give Al Shamsi a reward for his daring actions.
He told Gulf News: “It was just a regular reaction that I would have done for anybody.”
“My children asked me, ‘Dad what happened?’ “I told them and my mother, wife and children were so happy.
“My children consider me a Superman now and my mother spent the three Eid days receiving well wishers because of what I did.
“It was the most beautiful Eid in all my life.”