One-year-old girl taken during car theft found safe and well 3 years ago

One-year-old girl taken during car theft found safe and well

A toddler who was snatched when a man stole the car she was sitting in was found safe and well.

One-year-old Maria Tudorica was sitting in the front of her uncle's parked car in Newham, London when a man purportedly interested in buying the car got in and took off.

Her father Claudia Stelica had arranged to meet the potential buyer on behalf of his brother, reports BBC News.

Mr Stelica had placed his daughter in the passenger seat while he demonstrated the car's engine.

The suspect then asked if he could try it out before he jumped in to the driver's seat and drove away with little Maria beside him.

The theft took place at around 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

One-year-old girl taken during car theft found safe and well

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The authorities were alerted and a major police search was launched.

The car was later found abandoned nearby but Maria was nowhere to be seen.

The toddler was found before 8pm that evening around a mile away from where the vehicle was taken.

She was found wearing more clothing than she had been in when she was taken.

"Officers believe that either the suspect put the clothing on the child before abandoning her, or that a member of the public dressed her due to the cold, but who at the time did not wish to contact police," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

Police are still searching for the suspect, who is described as Asiana and of a slim build.