NEW ORLEANS – A frantic mother and grandmother chased down a thief who had taken a family car with a one-year-old inside shortly before noon Monday.
The mother shouted from her vehicle to the suspect to let her baby out. At some point the thief complied, stopping the vehicle and putting the child and the car seat on the curb before driving off again. The child was taken to the hospital and checked out, but is fine, according to the family.
“We chased him down,” said Cynthia Berry, the child’s grandmother. “He kept throwing stuff out and she (my daughter) said ‘I don’t want that, I want my baby.' She was just screaming for her baby. The police said she did a good job.”
The incident began in the 6000 block of Painters Street as the family was returning home from a trip to see a relative’s graduation in another state.
According to Berry, the family was taking out luggage and had left the car running to allow the sleeping child to stay in the car with the air-conditioning on. She said they were constantly back and forth getting luggage and other items when on one of the return trips, they saw the family car being driven off down the street.
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“I got in my husband’s truck and my daughter got in my Altima and she chased him,” Berry said.
Berry and her daughter took off after the car. Just about three-quarters of a mile away, in the 5300 block of Venus Street, the mother pulled alongside the family car and screamed for the thief to let her child out.
The thief did pull over and put out one-year-old Bernell Roman and his seat. The mother then asked for her purse, which was tossed out as well, before the thief drove off.
Police described the stolen vehicle as a black 2016 Jeep Patriot with Louisiana license plate ZOW867. The vehicle as 22" silver rims and the words "JEEP THING" written across the front windshield.