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“Yes it is just a car, but a baby was in it,” noted a police officer on the case.
A police alert sent out on Twitter helped recover a stolen car—and a baby sitting inside.
The month-old girl was left in a Toyota Prado in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Saturday night while her parents (who were not identified by name in The National’s report) ran into a store to grab something quickly. They left the engine running and opportunistic thieves drove off, with Lailas still inside.
Police sent out patrols as soon as officers received the call at 9:52 pm local time, and they issued an alert on Twitter in both Arabic and English. The messages were retweeted by more than 1,700 people, including Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Foreign Minister.
A few hours later a Sharjah resident tweeted police to say he’d seen the car. It was found at 5 am, a few kilometers from the location where it was taken, with the young girl still inside and unharmed.
“We received a lot of calls, of people thinking they saw the car, people who wanted to help, we had a lot of help,” said Maj Mohamed Al Shihi of Sharjah police. “So many people cared this time, more than before, because yes it is just a car, but a baby was in it.”
He added that the parents “should have taken more care and not left the baby alone in the car” and said it was the biggest response the force has had to an online alert.
Photo by MRBECK/Flickr
Based in Montreal, Kris Holt has been writing about technology and web culture since 2010. He writes for Engadget and Tech News World, and his byline has also appeared in Paste, Salon, International Business Times, Mashable, and elsewhere.