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Woman Arrested After Stealing Car With Child Inside | News

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Woman Arrested After Stealing Car With Child Inside
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A young Las Vegas father experienced some terrifying minutes Friday after his car was stolen with his infant son inside.

The father had only stepped a few feet away from the running vehicle when the thief, who police say had been lying in wait, jumped in the car and sped off.

Channel 8 Eyewitness News was the first at the scene when police recovered the car and re-united the family.

That father was too shaken up to talk with us on camera, but you can bet he'll never step away from his car again with the engine running and his child inside.

Police say it was just 10 a.m. when the young father pulled up into the Albertsons parking lot at Warm Springs and Rainbow to return some videos at a curbside kiosk.

He claimed to be just a few feet away from his car -- with the engine still running and his son strapped inside his car seat -- when a young woman jumped into the car and took off, police say.

The child's father was actually dragged a few feet, as he tried to get back into the car.

Just ten minutes after police received the frantic phone call from the father, a construction worker called to say he found an abandoned car with a baby and a dog in it at an industrial park just a couple miles away on South Lindell.

The baby, the family pet, and the car were quickly recovered and reunited with the child's parents.

Metro Police spokesman Bill Cassell, said, "Even though you're going just a few feet away from your vehicle, you definitely do not want to leave the engine running and you definitely don't want to leave your child inside the vehicle. Just those few extra seconds or minutes it takes to turn the car off, lock up, and take your child with you can prevent a tragedy. Fortunately, we didn't have a tragedy here, but the outcome could have been different."

Metro says the suspect, 22-year-old Jennifer Spencer, was taken into custody near the scene after she was found hiding in a port-a-potty.

Police say Spencer was arrested on one count each of first degree kidnapping, child endangerment, and grand larceny auto.

The baby was not harmed and Eyewitness News was told he's doing just fine back with mom and dad. The child's father was not seriously injured either.

The construction workers say a woman who appeared very distraught approached them in the parking lot and told them there was a baby in a car and then took off running.

One worker followed her while the other went to check out the vehicle and called police.

If it hadn't been for those two workers, it's unknown how long it would have taken to find that child, or whether police would have ever found the suspect hiding in the port-a-potty.

E-mail Eyewitnes News Reporter Alyson McCarthy.

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