BEIRUT

Middle East

Baby reunited with family after UAE car theft

DUBAI: A baby girl, who was in the back of a car stolen from outside a shop in the United Arab Emirates, was reunited with her parents after a frantic seven-hour search, The National newspaper reported Monday.

The month-old girl, Lailas, was in a white Toyota Prado when it was stolen in the Santsaiya 6 area of Sharjah, not far from commercial hub Dubai, late on Saturday, after her parents left the car's engine running while they nipped into the shop, the report said.

Within minutes, car and baby were gone.

After the alert was raised, police rapidly put out a Twitter alert, which was quickly retweeted by more than 1,700 people, including Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, and hundreds of Sharjah residents, in both Arabic and English.

Within hours, Ahmed Ibrahim al-Shamsi, an Emirati from Sharjah, contacted police on Twitter to say he had spotted the stolen car, the newspaper said.

And at 5:00 am (0100 GMT) Sunday it was found in Muwailah, a few kilometres (couple of miles) from where it was stolen, with Lailas safe inside, the report said.

"The baby was taken immediately to Al-Qassimi hospital where she was found to be in good health," it quoted Sharjah police spokesman Major Mohammed al-Shihi as saying.

It was the biggest response Sharjah police had received to an online alert.

"We received a lot of calls, of people thinking they saw the car, people who wanted to help, we had a lot of help," Shihi said.

"So many people cared this time, more than before, because yes it is just a car, but a baby was in it," he said.

 
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