Cape Town - A brazen thief masquerading as a family friend hijacked a car and sped off with two children still inside the vehicle – while their family was busy shopping.
But Mogamat Taariq Adams, 15, and his 10-year-old sister Aisha were lucky to escape with their lives when the car thief dumped them along the road.
Cops are now hunting for the man who pretended to be a family friend.
It was nightmare come true for grandmother Faiza Salie, 56, and her daughter Walieda Adams, 36, the children’s mother, when the two siblings vanished without a trace on January 26.
The Eastridge family left their home in Faiza’s red Toyota Corolla to go to the Town Centre in Mitchells Plain.
Faiza, her daughter and another woman went shopping while Taariq and Aisha remained in the car with the car keys.
Faiza said she was in the shops for less than eight minutes when she made the shocking discovery.
“We parked at the parking area by Campwell Hardware store,” she said.
“I walked to where I parked and then I saw there is no car and there are no children.”
Faiza froze for a few seconds when she realised the person who stole her car had also kidnapped her grandchildren.
The women raced off to the police station.
But in that time the hijacker had dropped the children off and they were spotted behind the mall by a relative.
“This man [thief] dropped them off at the back of the Town Centre in an area which they call Smartytown and luckily they saw a relative,” said Faiza.
But the grandmother said they were more horrified when she learnt the thief used her name to get inside the car.
“Taariq says this man was wearing a fez and said that Faiza said he must give the car keys because he has to do deliveries,” explained Faiza.
“He even named Taariq.”
Faiza said in a dramatic getaway, the man nearly collided with a bus.
“Taariq and Aisha realised they were being taken when he drove fast over speed bumps and nearly drove into a bus,” Faiza explained.
She said the man dropped off the kids, telling them to knock at a shop’s door before speeding off.
“By the time the children reached the door, they saw him driving away,” she added.
But despite losing her car, Faiza and the children’s mother said they are grateful the kids were spared.
“Aisha said to me, ‘Mommy, I thought he was going to rape me’,” said Walieda.
“My children could have been gone.
Faiza added: “The car is a 1996 model and an automatic with the registration CA 141 203.”
Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said police are investigating cases of carjacking and kidnapping.
“Police are investigating a carjacking and kidnapping cases which occurred in the Town Centre,” he confirmed.