Just a few hours after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and other local officials held a news conference on a troubling spike in carjackings, a woman and her child were abducted at knifepoint by a man who wanted their car.
D.C. police say the suspect drove off with the terrified pair still inside the car and let them out a few blocks away.
The mother and child were passengers in a car parked in the 700 block of Fourth Street NE, in the H Street area, at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, police say. The driver had just gotten out of the white Mercedes for a moment.
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Video provided to News4 shows the driver getting out and crossing the street. Moments later, a man with what police described as a noticeable limp walks up and opens the passenger door.
When the woman refused to get out, the man with a knife went to the driver’s side. Footage captured the chilling sounds of a panicked mother instinctively protecting her child.
“Stop screaming or I will stab you,” a police report says the man told the woman.
The carjacker then drove up K Street NE and let the mother and child out at Third Street NE, police said. They were not injured.
Hours earlier, Chief of Police Robert Contee spoke about a huge surge in carjackings by young people.
“Over a hundred kids in the District of Columbia arrested for carjackings. Over a hundred kids arrested in Prince George’s County for carjackings. Let me tell you something: Playtime is over. This is not a video game,” he said.
The carjacker on Wednesday is believed to be a 20 to 30.
The stolen car is a white, two-door 2014 Mercedes Benz C250 that had the Maryland license plate 2CT0713. A photo appears to show a yellow “Baby on board” sticker.
The car was last seen on South Capitol Street, a law enforcement source said.
Any idling car is a prime target for carjackers, who see an opportunity and take it, police say.
Anyone with information on the crime is asked to contact police. A reward of up to $10,000 is available.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story, including video footage of the crime.