HICKORY, N.C. - A 3-year-old girl was abducted from a Hickory Walmart on Monday night, according to police.
Officers were called to the Walmart Neighborhood Market Gas Station located at 483 Hwy 70 SW at 8:52 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9 in reference to a stolen vehicle and child abduction.
“That's terrifying,” said one woman who watched the carjacking video while pumping gas. “It's a reminder to take your kids in with you if you're going anywhere; keep your doors locked.”
Hickory Police spoke to the father of a 3-year-old girl who said that he pumped gas into his 2017 Honda Accord and had walked over to the outside cashier to pay. While paying for the gas, he said a dark blue Volkswagen Jetta pulled beside his car and an unidentified person wearing a hooded shirt with the hood pulled up exited the passenger side of the Volkswagen and jumped into the driver’s seat of his car.
The suspect stole the man's Honda with his 3-year-old daughter seated in the back, police said.
“My daughter's three,” said resident Amber Davis, “so it's pretty scary.”
The father told hickory Police an unidentified person wearing a hooded shirt with the hood pulled up exited the passenger side of the Volkswagen and jumped into the driver’s seat of his car.
"Information was immediately provided to surrounding agencies in reference to the child and stolen vehicle. The vehicle was located at approximately 10:16 hours (10:16 p.m.) in the 400 block of 33rd Ave SW by a Longview Police Officer patrolling the area," Hickory Police said in a released statement.
The video has spread quickly on social media, and now Hickory police need the community’s help to figure out who the person is.
“Takes a low person to do that,” Davis said. “I don't know why somebody would do that.”
Thankfully, the 3-year-old girl was found unharmed inside the abandoned vehicle.
Suspect Vehicle: Dark Blue Volkswagen Jetta
The suspect is described as being light-skinned, wearing a light-colored hoodie and bandanna. The suspect’s race and sex are unknown at this time.
“This is a prime example of 10 seconds, 20 seconds is just enough time for someone to take your kids,” one person told FOX 46.
Parents tell FOX 46 the carjacking and kidnapping has caused them to remind their kids of “stranger danger,” and has reminded them of how quickly someone looking for an opportunity can act.
“Keep them close! Not even for a split second. Take them with you everywhere you go,” one resident said.
Anyone with information regarding this ongoing investigation is encouraged to call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551 or contact Inv. J. Truesdell directly at 828-261-2636.