A young mother whose four-month-old baby was briefly stolen in an alleged carjacking has spoken openly about the “horrific” experience.
Karlee Gibbs, 23, was packing the trunk of her gray Nissan Patrol after running errands at the Yeppoon Shopping Centre, in Queensland, on Wednesday afternoon when an alleged thief snuck into the front seat and drove off.
To Mrs. Gibbs’ shock, her four-month-old baby Aubrey was still inside.
“I was screaming ‘my baby, my baby is in that car,'” she told 7 News.
“She eventually came back, wouldn’t stop. However, she kept saying “take the baby out, take the baby out”.
Her partner, Harleigh Baker, posted on Facebook: “The car has been found and everything is fine. Karlee and bubs are doing well at home’
‘It was just awful. My heart sank because I didn’t know if I would get my baby back.
“It’s so hard to believe it would happen to you. Like, you always see it in movies, but you never think it will happen to you. So I was just, my main focus was trying to get my baby back.”
Ms Gibbs’ partner, Harleigh Baker, posted on Facebook that mother and baby were safe.
“The car has been found and everything is fine. Karlee and bubs are doing well at home,” he wrote.
CCTV footage of the incident shows a woman wearing a signature red bucket hat casually approaching the side door of the car before quickly jumping into the vehicle.
Footage from the parking lot of Yeppoon Shopping Center shows the thief casually approaching the door on the driver’s side of the car before driving off (pictured)
The trunk of the car remains open as the thief drives off, leaving the woman’s groceries spilling all over the floor of the downtown parking garage (pictured)
Karlee Gibbs has spoken of the “horrific” experience of having her car stolen while her baby was still in it
She can be seen in the video jumping behind the wheel as the mother loads groceries into the trunk.
The mother then runs to the front of the car and tries to open the driver’s door.
The tailgate remains open as the car pulls away, spilling the groceries onto the floor of the parking garage.
Queensland Police said when the woman driving the vehicle realized the child was inside, she returned to the crime scene and dropped the baby off.
Police allege the woman then drove off before colliding with two people, including a young mother who had broken ribs.
Phoebe Halson, 21, had just arrived at the mall when she heard tires screeching and a woman screaming.
Phoebe Halson has three broken ribs after turning her back on speeding car to protect her two-year-old son
‘We’ve been run over. We thought the baby had been hit by a car because we saw the pod of her stroller lying on the ground,” she told T.he courier mail.
“We thought the baby had hit and we were like ‘oh my god.’
“But she’s screaming and she’s like ‘no my baby, my baby, my baby, my baby – she took my baby.’
Mrs. Halson tried to comfort the distraught mother.
“So we were standing in the middle of the loading dock trying to comfort this mom, and then the car came flying back up and drove through the exit ramp up the driveway, at least 30 miles,” she said.
Mrs. Halson, holding her two-year-old son in her arms, yelled for the car to stop.
But the car wouldn’t stop and she didn’t have enough time to get out of the way.
“Fortunately, my son was completely fine,” she said. “I shielded his whole body with mine.”
Mrs. Halson suffered three broken ribs, a gastric laceration and fluid around her spleen.
She said another woman and a teenager were also hit by the car as it passed by.
A 16-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman were taken to Yeppoon Hospital with leg injuries.
Police are calling on the public to help identify this woman. She was seen with a man at the mall prior to the incident (pictured)
Police are calling on the public to help identify the woman who allegedly stole the vehicle.
The woman was wearing a gray top, a dark colored jacket, dark colored jeans and a red bucket hat.
Video footage also shows how the blonde woman walked into the mall with a man prior to the incident.
Police investigations are ongoing. Anyone with information, dashcam or CCTV of the stolen vehicle is urged to contact police or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.