What to Know
- A 6-year-old girl was the focus of a Pennsylvania State Police Amber Alert hours after she was taken when her family car was stolen from outside Giovanni's Pizzeria on Greene Street in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood.
- The girl was found safe by a family member about 11 hours after she went missing.
- The car was found ditched in a Checkers restaurant parking lot across the street from the North Philadelphia police station.
A 6-year-old girl was found safe Wednesday morning after being abducted inside a car that was stolen outside a pizza shop in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood Tuesday night.
The girl was dropped off by a family member at the Philadelphia Police Department's 35th District Wednesday morning. That relative was driving around when they spotted the stolen car and found the little girl sleeping inside.
The girl was taken to the hospital to be checked out and then taken to the Special Victims Unit which is typical when a child is a victim of a crime. Investigators told NBC10 the SVU has a "forensic interviewer" who is trained in questioning a child to help them relay as much information as possible. At this point, police don't believe the girl was harmed.
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An Amber Alert was issued around 6 a.m. Wednesday. She was confirmed found safe by police around 8:20 a.m.
The mother's car was found ditched in the parking lot of a Checkers restaurant across the street from the police station at North Broad Street and Champlost Avenue in North Philadelphia almost 11 hours after the abduction took place. It was unclear when the car was left there.
The fast food joint is about 2.5 miles from the pizza place where the girl was taken.
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The search for the car thief continued Wednesday.
NBC10 cameras captured the girl -- in the pink coat that was part of the Amber Alert -- in her mother's arms as she was led into the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit Wednesday morning.
The mom had parked her running vehicle outside Giovanni's Pizzeria on Greene Street in Germantown around 9 p.m. Tuesday, Philadelphia police said. While she was inside the pizza place, her car was stolen while her 6-year-old daughter was inside the vehicle.
"We believe this car was stolen as an opportunity because the engine was running, the door was unlocked," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said overnight. "The individual who stole the car may not have known there was a 6-year-old child - so hopefully he abandons the car."
Investigators spoke with the girl's mother and employees at the pizza place.
"We're getting some good information about a male with a light complexion that may have gotten into this Toyota Scion today and taken this vehicle with the child inside and we're interviewing these employees right now as we speak," Small said. "So we're getting a lot of information. But our No. 1 priority is to find this little girl."
At the same time of the car theft on Greene Street, another vehicle was stolen on Green Lane and Mitchell Street. Police initially mixed up the locations of the two thefts. They later clarified that no passengers were inside the car that was stolen on Green Lane.