Police: 4-year-old found safe after vehicle stolen in East Cleveland with child inside

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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – A four-year-old girl is shaken, but OK and back with her parents after a terrifying ordeal at a local gas station. 

Police are still looking for several young men who stole her mother’s vehicle while the little girl was still inside.

Around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the little girl was inside her mom’s 2018 Volkswagon Atlas at the Express Gas station on Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland when her mother ran inside to pay for fuel.

“I was getting gas really quick, left her in the car ’cause it was raining, you know, and she has asthma so I didn’t want her to, you know, keep coming in and out of the car,” said the mother, who asked us not to reveal her name.

She said the gas station was crowded, especially with juveniles since school had just let out.

“I go in really quick, paid for my gas, came out, didn’t see my car no more,” she said.  “My heart just dropped. It just dropped… I didn’t know what to do, started hyperventilating, couldn’t even get my words straight.”

According to East Cleveland police, two or three juveniles jumped into the car and drove off.

The police chief says an employee from the gas station was able to chase after the vehicle and get it to pull over at Charles and Terrace roads a few blocks away.

“She was a little shaken,” said the mother.

Everyone inside bailed out, but they left the girl inside unharmed.

The chief says they believe the suspects came to the gas station in a vehicle that had been previously stolen at gunpoint in Cleveland. The little girl’s mother says she was unable to see her car as it was being stolen.

“School had just let out so it was a lot of kids getting out of school coming in and out of the store, yeah, I didn’t see. I didn’t see them at all ’cause it was raining and the rain was really coming, so the wind was blowing, the rain was hitting my face, so I didn’t see anybody,” she said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call East Cleveland police.

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