Video shows good Samaritans stop woman from stealing car with child in backseat

Posted at 11:39 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 23:39:52-05

CLEVELAND - An Ohio woman is behind bars after she allegedly attempted to steal a car that had a child in the backseat.

Surveillance video captured the moment a distraught mother ran out of a Cleveland convenience store while a stranger took off in her car.

"It's scary to think that people can just walk up to your car and take it like it's their own, and it's very unpredictable what people can do," said Motaz Dahdouh, the manager of the Convenient Food Mart where the incident occurred.

Surveillance video allegedly shows Candace Hunter, 35, repeatedly trying to gain access to vehicles parked outside the store. Hunter was arrested and charged with kidnapping.

Dahdouh said Hunter is a regular who he has never witnessed cause trouble.

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"She came in and out, in and out, and then it looked off because she started going up to random cars and trying to open them," Dahdouh said.

According to a police report, the mother left the vehicle running with her 4-year-old daughter in the backseat. She told officers she went into the store to get her little girl a juice box. She has not been charged with a crime.

Shante Bradley, a mother who shops at the store, said this situation is an important reminder to never leave children unattended in a running car.

"[I] get out, take them with me because it's too dangerous. Anything can happen, and they are so young," said Bradley.

Luckily, several good Samaritans used their vehicles to block Hunter's exit as the child's mother was being dragged, according to police. Surveillance cameras captured their quick action on video.

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Dahdouh said he is proud of his community for working together to help a desperate mother and prevent tragedy.

"This is just one moment that the community came together and helped one person out, and they probably saved the child's life," he said.