MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Quite a scare for a Hialeah family after someone stole a SUV with a sleeping child inside.READ MORE: Pivoting In Pandemic: Miami Maintenance Co. Credits FIU's Small Business Development Center For Helping Them Survive
Around 6:30 a.m. Jorge Gomez, an employee of a mechanic shop at 2851 W Okeechobee Road, parked his Ford Expedition in the lot with his 10-year old daughter Penelope sleeping in the back so he could open up the business. When he came out a few minutes later it, and his daughter, were gone.
While he was inside a woman had jumped behind the wheel and driven off.
“I was crying, I got scared and nervous,” said Penelope.
Gomez, who realized he’d seen the woman in the neighborhood before, frantically called police and family members. He said he feared the worst.
“In those types of cases there are two things that end up happening, they’re either violated or dead,” said Gomez.READ MORE: Earth Day: Recycling Right Is Key For The Future Of Our Environment
The woman driving the SUV, identified as 33-year old “Lissette,” parked it in front of Hialeah Gardens Elementary School at 36th Avenue and 74th Street and called her mother asking for help.
Lissette’s mother told CBS4’s Silva Harapetian her daughter has been struggling with drugs for 20 years. She said she gets her drugs from where she stole the SUV and called her for help when she realized a girl was sleeping in the back.
When her mother refused to help, Lissette abandoned the SUV and got an area resident to drive her back to the neighborhood where she stole it.
Meanwhile, the Lissette’s mother went to the school, found the girl and called the police. She then waited for them to arrive.
Chopper 4, over the scene, spotted the girl, who was unhurt, getting into the back of a police car.MORE NEWS: Initiatives Announced To Reduce Pollution In Miami-Dade County
Lissette was taken into custody and charged with grand theft.