Video shows 2-year-old wandering the street after Oakland carjacking suspect abandons him

Luz Pena Image
Thursday, January 25, 2024
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Child left on street by Oakland carjacking suspect
ABC7 News obtained exclusive video where the Oakland carjacking suspect can be seen abandoning the 2-year-old on the street in San Leandro.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. -- A mother and her 2-year-old have been reunited after the child was taken in a suspected carjacking in Oakland Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, our sister station ABC7 News reporter Luz Pena went to the area where the 2-year-old was found and pieced together how officers were able to reunite the boy with his family.

ABC7 News obtained exclusive video where a suspect can be seen driving the stolen vehicle into a warehouse area in San Leandro.

In the video, the suspect stops the car, carries the 2-year-old boy in his lap out of the car and leaves him on the street before driving off.

The 2-year-old was left wandering alone on the street. Less than a minute later, a bus driver stopped and called for help. Then, people in the area began to come out of businesses to aid the child.

"It just happened right outside my front door right there," said Versie Adams, a photographer who works in the area. "These things that happen don't really surprise me because crime is in the upswing - a lot of people don't really care."

On Tuesday afternoon, the mother was reunited with her child in San Leandro. He had been in the backseat of the vehicle when the car was stolen outside their home in Oakland, 4 miles from where he was found.

WATCH: Mom, 2-year-old reunite after child taken in suspected Oakland carjacking

A mother and her 2-year-old were reunited after the child was taken in a suspected carjacking in Oakland Tuesday afternoon.

How was the boy found? Turns out, a police officer in San Leandro had been listening to the Oakland police radio.

"I actually heard that Oakland was investigating a stolen vehicle that may have involved a child and taken with it. Once our officers were able to make that connection, we notified OPD that we had an infant found," said Lieutenant Abe Teng with San Leandro police.

Police officers arrived on scene and confirmed the abandoned 2-year-old was the same boy who had been kidnapped in the stolen vehicle in Oakland.

"It's a great feeling for all the officers involved who were able to reunite the child with their family members," Teng said.

As the mother held her child, she gave police officers a key tool to go after the suspect.

In her car, she had left her iPhone and Airpods -- key devices in this search.

"Her cellphone as well as her Airpods were still inside of her vehicle so she was fortunate enough to get a friend's phone and utilize the Find My Phone application, and luckily the 2-year-old child was dropped off and they were able to be reunited," said Adam Schermerhorn, public information officer with the Marin County Sheriff's Office.

The mother tracked her iPhone miles away from San Leandro. Her car was in Marin County at a McDonald's parking lot.

"The mother was able to give us continuous updates, at one point showing that the device appeared to be on Tiburon Boulevard," said Schermerhorn. "The security camera footage showed a male and a female exit the stolen vehicle and then leave going northbound behind the McDonald's."

After the woman's car was recovered, Tiburon police officers and Marin County deputies were set on finding the suspect.

"Plainclothes detectives along with Tiburon PD were able to look in the area and found two subjects sitting at a bus stop," said Schermerhorn

The mother and her 2-year-old son are recovering while thankful that even though her son was kidnapped, strangers and officers throughout the Bay Area made sure he came home.

"We don't operative on an island. We are not isolated. We utilize the help of other agencies and we often extend our help as well," said Schermerhorn.

According to court records, 34-year-old Oakland resident Viorel Andrei Morari was arrested on suspicion of multiple offenses, including kidnapping, carjacking and child abuse.