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‘Like watching a horror movie:’ Mother’s vehicle stolen with 4-year-old inside as she put air in tires

Jannah Almalki

MINNEAPOLIS — A mother and daughter were shaken, but home safe, together, after a man stole their car with the 4-year-old in the back seat.

“I literally felt like I was watching a horror movie, but I was living it,” said Jannah Almalki.

Almalki said she never imagined putting air in a tire, would lead to every parent’s worst nightmare. Early Monday morning, Nov. 18, she was filling up the rear passenger tire of her car when she noticed the weight shift.

“I felt something heavy weigh down my car and then my car door slammed, and I was thinking, ‘No way that was my daughter,’” said Almalki. “At that point, I realized my car is getting stolen.”

As the thief put the car in reverse, Almalki frantically tried to open the doors, but they were locked.

“At that point, the car drove off and I just started screaming at the top of my lungs. ‘My daughter! Somebody help me! My baby!’” said Almalki.

She and other witnesses began to run after the vehicle as the thief drove into a nearby grocery store parking lot, and then he did something unexpected.

“He stopped at the Hy-Vee grocery store and took her out of the car seat and put her outside of the car,” said Almalki. “I ran up to my daughter and squeezed her and collapsed to the floor, crying.”

Noora was also in tears, but relieved.

It turned out, she had some choice words for the thief when they were in the car together.

“’That’s my mom’s car. Give her her car back,’” said Noora, as she recalled what she said to the thief.

“I didn’t care about my car. Take my car. Take whatever you want, but she is irreplaceable. I’m just happy that she’s OK and she’s still here,” said Almalki.

Police found Almalki’s car in Golden Valley, but no arrests were made as of Tuesday afternoon.

The car was fine, but the thief did make off with her laptop, wallet, and cellphone.

Almalki said next time, no matter how cold it is, she will turn off her car and lock it while she puts air in her tires.

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