‘A nightmare’: Car stolen with baby inside

Published 9:25 pm Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lichella Harris holds her 9-month-old son, Rahmeir, who was in the back seat of her boyfriend’s Nissan Maxima when it was stolen from their driveway on Tuesday night. The baby was dropped off unharmed at a doorstep two blocks away.

Lichella Harris feared the worst when her boyfriend’s car was stolen with her 9-month-old son inside.

“I didn’t know what to think,” she said.

Her boyfriend, Robert Dyett, had pulled up in the driveway and started bringing items in the house. He hadn’t come any further than the threshold when he turned around and the car was gone.

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“I stepped in the house, I looked back and the car was just gone,” Dyett said. “I said, ‘The baby’s in there.’ I was just thinking about the baby in the car.”

Ramona Harris, the baby’s great-aunt, had seen the headlights move, but she thought it was another car. She never imagined someone was stealing the car right out of her front yard.

“That was a nightmare,” she said. “They (the thief) had to be brave. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Dyett said the car had been locked, but that type of vehicle — a 2007 Nissan Maxima — allows the vehicle to be unlocked easily if the sensor is nearby. It had been in Dyett’s pocket.

The great-aunt called 911 while Dyett and Harris went looking. Harris walked to the church down the street, thinking the car thief could have left the baby on the stoop.

As it turned out, that’s exactly what happened — only not at the church, but at someone else’s home two blocks away.

A resident in the 600 block of First Avenue heard the doorbell ring several times and went to the door to find the boy, Rahmeir Harris, there.

They usually work nights and weren’t even supposed to be home, Harris said she had learned from her conversation with them. They were only home because he had a medical procedure earlier in the day, she said.

Ramona Harris said the police had responded extremely quickly.

“They did their thing last night,” she said. “I have to give them a pat on the back.”

The car was found Wednesday morning in a wooded area off Lake Cohoon Road. Police dusted it for fingerprints, and Dyett was able to pick it up Wednesday afternoon. He said it was in the same shape it was in when it was stolen, except for having black fingerprint dust in it.