A man was caught on camera stealing a car with a baby still inside at a gas station in Vineland, New Jersey Tuesday, according to police.
A woman told police she was at a gas station on 402 W. Landis Avenue around 6 p.m. She ran inside the store to pick up several items while her 1-year-old child was inside her running vehicle, police said. The woman told police she thought she had locked the door before entering the store.
As she was inside the store, she spotted a man get into her vehicle, back out of the parking lot and drive eastbound on Landis Avenue, police said. Surveillance video shows her running after her vehicle as the suspect drives off.
"I thought the car door was locked," the woman, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10. "It's a stupid mistake. People make mistakes. I thought I was gonna run in and out and next thing I know somebody is backing up with the baby."
Responding police officers later found the car at the corner of Grape and 3rd streets less than a half a mile away from the gas station. The baby was inside the car unharmed but the suspect was gone. The baby was evaluated by Vineland EMS and then reunited with his parents.
After reviewing the surveillance video, police found a man matching the description of the suspect at Main Street and Landis Avenue. The suspect, identified as 31-year-old Pedro Ortiz, of Vineland, was arrested and charged with carjacking, kidnapping and theft of auto. He was processed and transported to the Cumberland County Jail.
While her son was not harmed during the ordeal, the woman remains shaken by the experience.
"It scared me half to death," she said while on the verge of tears. "I'm still shook up today."