A 7-month-old baby is safe after car thieves stole the parent’s car with the infant still inside.
A family trip from Carmel, New York, to Brazil turned into parents’ worst nightmare after a couple watched two men drive off in a car carrying their baby girl in Vila Alpina. The couple barely kissed good-bye when the car bandits held them at gunpoint and demanded their car. Worried mom Debora Bonacci pleaded with the men to allow her to get her baby out of the car, and although the suspects agreed at first, they apparently panicked when they saw a police car.
“I told him [the villain] that we have a little girl. I shouted “For God’s sake, let me get my daughter. But the moment they saw the police they panicked. The back door was open and I tried to get my child out but I couldn’t. I was being dragged along with the car as I tried to grab my daughter. I ran after it but they drove off with the car door open. I was in absolute despair at that moment as I watched my child being driven away by the criminals.”
A five-mile car chase ensued afterwards, that luckily ended with the child unharmed. The car thieves began shooting at the cops, but the officers didn’t return gunfire since the baby was in the car. The suspects eventually abandoned the car in São Caetano do Sul, fleeing of foot, leaving the baby behind. A local resident, who got the ordeal on video, was surprised to hear a baby crying from the abandoned vehicle.
“The baby sounded really distressed and I was concerned about what was going on. I was about to call the police when they turned up and got the child out the car. I saw an officer comforting and rocking the baby,” said the resident.
One of the suspects didn’t get too far. Police arrested Cauê Vinicíus Painelli de Brito, 19, who had broken into a home, taking the family inside hostage. After negotiations, he turned himself in. Police learned he had a past record of robbery.
The baby was reunited with her parents; both were elated to see her unscathed and grateful to the officers who helped save her.