NIAGARA FALLS – A 9-year-old girl, asleep in the back seat of a car when it was stolen late Friday, was forced from the vehicle at gunpoint just before midnight, police said. A passerby then saw the girl waving her arms for help, and drove her to her home in the Jordan Gardens housing complex.
The incident began around 11:45 p.m. Friday when the girl's mother drove to the home of her day-care provider, in the 1400 block of Ferry Avenue, to pick up her children and drop off her next week's work schedule. She left her car running outside while she went inside the home, and told the 9-year-old to go wait inside the vehicle while she got her other two children dressed and ready to go home.
Upon returning to the vehicle moments later, the 31-year-old mother realized the car had been taken – with her daughter inside – and phoned police. While officers were preparing to issue an Amber Alert for the missing child, she turned up at the Jordan Gardens location around 12:30 a.m., the mother's boyfriend told police.
The girl told police that she was sleeping inside the car when a man jumped in and drove off. He sideswiped a pole at some point, causing her to bump her head, she said, but continued driving. When he realized the girl was in the back seat he stopped, put a gun in her face and ordered her out of the vehicle, according to reports.
The girl was noticed by a passerby at the intersection of Linwood Avenue and 16th Street, and was driven home from there by a Sixth Street resident.
The mother told police that her $500 iPhone was inside the car when it was taken, along with her purse which contained $650 in cash.
The girl described the car thief as about 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds, with no additional details provided.