Parents track down suspect who stole car with baby in the back seat

Barista Jovie Smith, who witnessed the carjacking, said it was like a scene out of a movie.
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 1:57 AM EDT
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VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV/Gray News) - A Washington state couple tracked down and detained a man after he allegedly stole their car with their baby in the back seat. The suspect is now facing charges.

The baby’s father, identified only as John, described the scary moments just before 8 a.m. Saturday when his 1-month-old son was kidnapped by a carjacker just a few feet away from where he was standing.

“He opens my car door, and I say, ‘My son’s in there,’” John told KPTV. “‘Please. My son’s in there. Give me my son back. You can have my car. Just give me my son back.’”

John and his wife, Ashley, own Happy Juice Coffee Shop and Smoothie Bar in Vancouver, Washington. They say they were setting up their food cart when the suspect jumped into their car and drove off with their baby boy still inside.

Jovie Smith, a barista for the couple’s shop, said it was like a scene out of a movie.

“It makes me emotional just thinking about it,” Smith said. “Hearing Ashley scream for her baby. You see it in movies all the time, and you never think it’s ever going to happen to you.”

Clark County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were able to locate the car with the child still inside and unharmed. The suspect was gone.

Then, later that day, the parents said they received an alert.

“We noticed he had created transactions at Victoria’s Secret and then Foot Locker,” John said.

John said they found the suspect at Vancouver Mall and held him long enough for police to arrive.

“I was able to spot him up in the JCPenney department store,” John said. “He turned around to start running away. At that point, I just detained him as needed.”

Authorities arrested the suspect, identified as Mario Andrews. He is facing charges that include theft of a motor vehicle, second-degree kidnapping and reckless endangerment.

The baby’s family said they’re so grateful to their community and law enforcement for helping to bring their son back safely.

“Definitely, there’s a more deeper feeling of gratitude, that’s for sure,” John said.

Andrews also faces charges from a previous case that include possession of a stolen vehicle and attempt to elude.