SAN JOSE, CA (WMBF/CNN) - San Jose Police found an infant girl safe after she was kidnapped during a car robbery early Monday morning.
The stolen Jeep was found in a parking lot with the baby inside. the suspect is still on the loose.
Police say they aren't sure if the thief knew the child was inside or if they were just trying to steal the car.
Police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said the investigation is continuing.
"We want to know who took the car and what their motivation was," he said.
The mother, Graciella Quintero, had placed her 11-month-old daughter Gabriella in a car seat in the backseat of the Jeep but had not yet strapped her in, Dwyer said.
Quintero was bringing items from her house to her car and stepped away from the Jeep momentarily, leaving the key in the ignition with the engine off, Dwyer said. When she came back outside she saw the Jeep driving away.
The suspect is believed to be a woman described as white or Hispanic and in her 30's, wearing a dark top and dark pants and carrying a red-and-white Target bag.
Quintero, who is a single mother, did not recognize the suspect but saw her standing nearby before the car was stolen, Dwyer said.
Dwyer said the mother was "understandably shaken."
"It's very difficult to interview someone in that condition," he said.
About 40 San Jose police officers were looking for the Jeep and the girl, and law enforcement agencies throughout the Bay Area were on alert. The California Highway Patrol was involved, and an aerial search was being conducted.