BELL GARDENS (CBSLA) – A woman was captured in Bell Gardens after allegedly stealing an SUV Friday morning which had two young children inside, authorities said.
At around 7:40 a.m., the suspect stole a Nissan Xterra in the city of Bell after a mother briefly left her kids — a 5-year-old girl and a 4-month-old infant — inside the vehicle while she ran back into her home to grab something, Bell police said.
The woman drove it for about six blocks before abandoning the vehicle in a restaurant parking lot in the 5700 block of Gage Avenue in neighboring Bell Gardens. She left the two children in the SUV and ran away, Bell police said. Security video obtained by CBS2 from a restaurant in the parking lot showed the woman walking away from the vehicle.
Officers swarmed the area and found the suspect a short time later. Her name was not immediately released. The children were rescued unhurt, police said, and reunited with their mother. The 5-year-old girl was able to identify the suspect, police said.
“But she did great,” Bell police Det. Marisol Lomeli told CBS2. “She gave us descriptions. We actually had her identify two people.”
A motive for the theft was not immediately confirmed. It’s unclear if the suspect knew the family of the children.
The investigation is ongoing.