HIGH POINT, N.C. — A 17-month-old who was inside a vehicle that was stolen outside a grocery store on Thursday night has been found safe.
Capt. Mike Kirk of the High Point Police Department said 17-month-old Shylin Olandea Neal was found safe in Greensboro around 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Police said a citizen spotted the stolen SUV, a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban with N.C. tag BJX-1565, near the Campus Crossing apartment complex on Brice Street in Greensboro.
“They did find the vehicle and did find the child inside. The child is fine,” said Capt. Kirk.
The child was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated. She was released around 10 a.m.
Mary Rizkalla, a student at UNCG, said she was walking to her apartment when she heard a baby crying. She checked the Amber Alert on her phone and immediately called police.
“I heard the baby crying and I saw the car, so I looked up the car again to make sure it’s the right one. I ran upstairs and woke up my roommate… We checked the license plate again and called the police,” Rizkalla told FOX8.
In a 911 call released by High Point Police, Rizkalla told the dispatcher they found the car near the Campus Crossing apartment complex.
“I don’t know what to do. There’s a baby inside crying. It’s the same license plate and same model car,” Rizkalla said. “I was walking back home and I heard the baby cry… So, I looked at my phone and I saw the Amber Alert because I remember I saw it last night and I’m seeing it again. It’s the exact same car.”
The Amber Alert was issued at 12:15 a.m. for Neal, who was asleep inside an SUV that was stolen outside the Food Lion at 3935 Brian Jordan Place around 9:50 p.m.
Police say the child’s godfather parked the vehicle in front of the Food Lion and left it unlocked with the engine running.
In a second 911 call released by High Point Police, the child’s godfather said, “I pulled up. I went in the grocery store to get a book and some orange juice to take it to the house and I come outside and the truck is gone with the baby in the back seat.”
The child’s godfather told police he was inside the grocery store for “3 to 5 minutes.”
He went on to say the vehicle was left with the keys in the car, but he said it was not running.
In a third 911 call released by police, the child’s mother told dispatchers what happened.
“Can you please find my baby. She was in a white SUV. Someone has stolen it. I think they tried to rob my cousin and stole the (SUV) from the Food Lion,” said the child’s mother.
“The godparents came to pick her up to spend the night with them. I guess he was going to the grocery store to make sure she had stuff, and I don’t know what happened after that,” she said.
“I am so glad we got her back now. Whoever the lady is that heard her cry, thank you… and we love you,” the child’s aunt told FOX8.
Capt. Kirk said the vehicle theft “appears to be random.”
Police said surveillance footage from the Food Lion does not show any possible suspects in the case.
Now that the child has been located, officers will work to determine who is responsible for stealing the vehicle. No information about a possible suspect has been released.