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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A child who was in a car stolen from in front of a home has been found safe.
The girl’s father, Johnathan Rabb, said his daughter Soraya is only a year old. He said someone stole their 2006 Toyota Avalon not realizing she was in the back seat.
He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I just stopped by at a friend’s house to grab something and when I came out 3 minutes later she was gone. I was heartbroken. I cried out for help. I wanted to get in a car and drive around looking for her but then I realized I had to do the right thing and call police,” he said.
“Car got jacked with my daughter in it. Somebody found the opportunity to take the car with her in the backseat and they ended up here,” he said.
It happened at a home at 2490 Northwest 26th Avenue.
“I was worried because I felt anything could have happened,” he said. “She could have been in a wreck. She could have lost her life. She could have been seriously hurt.”
Police found Sariah and the car in the parking of a church several blocks away at 2400 Northwest 20th Street.
“I feel good,” said Rabb. “Police did a great job and found her within 30 minutes. She was ok. She was checked out by paramedics and she was still sleeping when they found her.”
“I dropped to my knees and thanked God that she was found safe and that she was ok,” he said.
Rabb said when she was taken, he almost lost it.
“A lot went through my mind. I was mad, I was ready to fight, I was ready to kill, I was ready to find my daughter, whoever had her I was ready to go through whatever I had to go through to get her back,” he said.
“I feel like in this world there are a lot of bad guys who don’t even look in the back seat of a car to see if a child is there before stealing a car,” he said. “Something has got to happen.”
And now that she was found safe.
“I’m blessed. I can’t say nothing else,” he said.
His message for other parents?
“Never take your eyes off your children.”
Fort Lauderdale police released surveillance photos from a business next to the church where the car was found.
They said it showed a young black male running away. He is described as 18 to 22 years old, 5’8″ to 5’9″ inches tall and weighs between 135 and 145 pounds. He was wearing a white shirt, a white hat and white shorts and slides.
“I hope they catch him,” said Rabb. “I know they are going to catch him.”