HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – Blowing kisses and a shy, “thank you!” Daniel Rivero and his family thank police and the media.

All of South Florida was hoping and praying Daniel’s his safe return Wednesday.  That’s when the 3 year old was taken in a carjacking after his parents stepped out of the car just for a moment at an ice cream truck.

Crying, Daniel’s mom said she saw the suspect taking her son, and that’s the worst thing anyone can see.

Daniel’s father couldn’t believe what he was seeing as the family SUV peeled out – with his son inside.

“He and my other little boy is my life,” Manuel Rivero said in broken English.

Manuel ran after the car, and suspect Pedro Luis Valdes, who police say was behind the wheel.  Manuel ended up getting slammed to the ground.

“I push for to stop the car.  What happened, when I fell to the floor, I broken around everything,” he said, pointing to chipped teeth and a fat lip.

Daniel was eventually dropped off at a bank, but investigators say the suspect’s crime spree was not over yet. He allegedly robbed a bank, then hid out in a Hialeah motel.

But he wasn’t able to hid from a viewer who recognized his mug on TV.

“On a tip that we received from a viewer, one of your viewers,” Hialeah Police detective Eddie Rodriguez explained. “We were able to find him hiding out. He is in custody and his little reign of terror is going to be over.”

With all this behind them, the family picked up their SUV from police Friday.

“Bye, Bye!” said Daniel as he walked to the car.  But he wasn’t really all that excited about getting strapped back in his car seat.   He started to cry.

Meanwhile, Valdes made his first appearance this afternoon at federal court in Miami.

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