NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey officials say they have arrested a man on charges that he took an unattended car that had a sleeping 2-year-old girl inside before the vehicle and child were recovered soon after.
Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said in a statement on Sunday that officials arrested 40-year-old Sanders Martin Gomes and charged him with carjacking in the July 10 incident.
Ambrose says that a 24-year-old Union woman reported she parked a car containing her sleeping daughter near a relative’s house to unload groceries.
At one point the car went missing, but was discovered soon after nearby with the girl inside. It was parked less than 400 feet away, just around the corner.
She appeared to be unharmed but was taken to a hospital to be examined.
About a third of cars stolen in Newark so far this year were taken after they were left running, Ambrose said. He cautioned the public about leaving their cars running and unattended.
“With a little common sense, many crimes like this can be prevented,” Ambrose said. “Everyone has to be thankful that this didn’t end with tragic results.”
It is not clear whether Gomes has an attorney to comment on his behalf.