SEYMOUR, IN (WAVE) - A 12-year-old girl’s quick thinking led police to her kidnapper before she was harmed.
The girl was at a strip mall in Seymour, Indiana with her mother around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, and was waiting in the car while her mom shopped.
That’s when Seymour police said a woman jumped into the car and took off, refusing to let the child out of the vehicle.
“I thought she possibly got in the wrong car, so I was pushing on her back, saying, ‘Hey, you’ve got the wrong car, this isn’t your car. Please get out,’ because I was scared of what was going to happen,” the girl told WTHR.
When the woman didn’t stop, the 12-year-old called 911, staying on the phone with dispatchers while the suspect drove her further and further away.
“What is amazing about it is the child had a cell phone," Seymour Police Sgt. C.J. Foster said. “She called 911 and she gave really accurate landmarks where they were at the time.”
The dispatcher who took the 911 call heard the confrontation as the woman tried to grab the phone from the child. She didn’t succeed.
Officials tried to direct police to the stolen car as the girl called out landmarks.
"We are passing a sign for Holiday Inn and Cracker Barrel," she told them.
The woman got on Interstate 65 and drove about 20 miles before police caught the car near Columbus.
The driver, 28-year-old Shawana Lucas, was arrested at the scene.
Thankfully, the child was not hurt and was reunited with her mother immediately.
Police aren’t sure why Lucas took the car. She told the girl she was trying to escape a violent person.
“She said that she was getting away from someone. She said her ex-boyfriend just shot up the home and everyone in it,” the girl said. “She was lying. I found that out later.”
Seymour Police confirmed there was no shooting.
Lucas was charged with vehicle theft and criminal confinement. She’s being held in the Jackson County Jail.