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Car thief kicks child out before taking off, police say

Car stolen from Saint Mark Children's Enrichment Center

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando police are searching for a man Friday who attempted to steal a car with a child sitting inside from a preschool parking lot.

In a frantic 911 call a woman called Orlando police at 8 a.m. to report that her Nissan Ultima was stolen from Saint Mark Children's Enrichment Center on Covington Street, according to police.

The parent told the operator a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt got in the family's car, ordered her child out and drove off before anyone could stop him. The keys were left in the car, police said.

People who live around the church said they were surprised by the incident. They told News 6 that the Harbor Shores area of Orlando is normally a quiet neighborhood.

Rosa McCarty said her nephew attends the center and has seen several parents leave their keys in their car when they're in a hurry but she said she won't be doing that anymore.

"I have, but to know it happened in this neighborhood, I'm kind of in shock and total disbelief," McCarty said. "But things happen and its a learning lesson for me as well."

"I'm glad the child is OK, but I hope they get whoever took the car from their parents. They need it for work and their children," said resident Angela Gamble, who grew up in the Harbor Shores neighborhood.

The stolen Nissan was later found abandoned.

Orlando police have not released any more details about the incident.