WHEATON, Md. -- A car thief got himself caught for that crime -- and kidnapping -- after crashing into two other vehicles and speeding away from the scene, police said.
When the parents of a 5-year-old girl left her alone in their unlocked, running van outside Caramelo's Bakery in Wheaton Thursday morning, Omer Ali Abdu, 28, jumped in and drove off, police said.
The van struck two other vehicles at Georgia Avenue and University Boulevard. Abdu didn't stop to trade insurance information, but one of the drivers wasn't going to let him get away that easy, police said.
Jason Hernandez followed the van until he saw police and was able to yell to them that the van had banged up his vehicle. Police stopped the vehicle and then discovered they had a car theft and kidnapping on their hands in addition to the hit-and-run.
Abdu was charged with kidnapping, auto theft, theft over $500, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, unauthorized removal of property, rogue and vagabond (being inside a vehicle with the intent to steal it), and hit-and-run, police said.
Leaving a child younger than 8 in an unattended vehicle can bring misdemeanor charges, but the 5-year-old's parents are not going to be charged.