Alicia Lamprecht whose baby was kidnapped in a brazen daylight hijacking in Observatory, Cape Town spoke to YOU Magazine about her nightmare ordeal.
Seven-month-old Henco was in the back seat of the car on Monday 13 September while his mother, Alicia, 28, made delivery runs of her home-baked health snacks and cookies for breast-feeding mothers.
Alicia said she was about to to climb into the vehicle when she heard tyres screeching and when she looked up her car was gone.
“I started screaming, ‘My baby’s in the car, my baby’s in the car!’” Alicia says. “It all happened so fast, neither my friend nor I saw who jumped into the car.”
For three hours, a nightmare became Alicia and her husband, Coenie’s reality.
She and her friend called the armed response company and the police and fortunately the car was fitted with a tracking device.
“When armed response stopped there [at the friend’s house] I said, ‘Can we please go and look for my child?’ I jumped into the car and we started chasing and following the locations on the phone,” she said.
About 30 minutes after the hijacking, the tracking app showed the car had stopped in Milnerton, and the ignition was turned off.
However, when Alicia and the armed response officer reached the car, the baby was missing.
“I just lost it,” Alicia says. “Bystanders came running and asking what was going on. I told them, ‘This is what my son looks like, here’s my number, please help me find my baby’.”
By that time Coenie, the police and the car trackers had arrived and for three hours, parents and community members searched the area for the baby, before a report of someone carrying a car seat came in.
As more details came to light it emerged that a mother of four Emelda Ngudi, had gone to the shops to buy bread and seen Henco on the pavement in the seat.
“I thought, ‘This baby is stolen or something.’ I unbuckled the car seat, picked him up and covered his head with his blanket. Then I asked the shop owner to call the police.”
Emelda took Henco into her care as she waited for the police to arrive.
When Alicia arrived at the property she grabbed Henco in her arms.
She revealed that the family has been seeing a trauma counsellor to deal with the paranoia she now feels, stemming from the incident.