SAN JOSE (BCN)–An infant girl who was inside a Jeep Liberty that was stolen from San Jose Monday morning has been found safe, police said.
The Jeep was found at the Seven Trees Community Center near East Capitol Expressway, a police officer said. Police have not yet released more details about how the car and child were found.
San Jose Police confirm that at 11:17 a.m., the police department’s 911 communications center received a report from a citizen that they spotted the suspect vehicle in the driveway of a carport area in the 400 block of Amargosa Court in San Jose.
Officers arrived on scene at 11:22 a.m. and immediately located the Jeep with the infant still seated in the backseat. The officer assessed the infant and she did not appear injured.
The infant was transported to a local hospital as a precaution. A uniformed officer rode in the ambulance with the infant. The mother, Graciella Quintero, has been reunited at the hospital with the girl.
The vehicle was taken at about 6:40 a.m. Monday in the 2300 block of Amador Court, off of Story Road, a few blocks from Interstate Highway 680.
The mother, Graciella Quintero, had placed her 11-month-old daughter Gabriela in a car seat in the backseat of the Jeep but had not yet strapped her in, San Jose police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.
Quintero was bringing items from her house to her car and stepped away from the Jeep momentarily, leaving the key in the ignition with the engine off, Dwyer said. When she came back outside she saw the Jeep driving away.
Her daughter, whose first birthday is in four days, was gone, police said.
She called police, who arrived within three minutes, Dwyer said.
The suspect is believed to be a woman described as white or Hispanic and in her 30s, wearing a dark top and dark pants and carrying a red-and-white Target bag.
Quintero, who is a single mother, did not recognize the suspect but saw her standing nearby before the car was stolen, Dwyer said.
Dwyer said the mother was “understandably shaken.”
“It’s very difficult to interview someone in that condition,” he said.
It is unclear whether the car thief knew there was a baby in the Jeep, but Dwyer said police were treating the case as a stranger abduction.
About 40 San Jose police officers were looking for the Jeep and the girl, and law enforcement agencies throughout the Bay Area were on alert. The California Highway Patrol was involved, and an aerial search was being conducted.
The Jeep Liberty was described as white with a spare tire attached to the rear, and a sticker showing two babies kissing each other.
Photo: Paramedics carry Gabriela Quintero into Valley Medical Center for observation after being found.
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