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UPDATE: Appeal following theft of car containing child

News   •   Jan 07, 2019 05:15 GMT

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and help to trace a man following the theft of a car containing a young child.

At approximately 16:35hrs on Sunday, 6 January, the girl's father met with an unknown man on Nine Acres Close, E12 with a view to selling a car.

The seller's 17-month-old daughter was in the front passenger seat of the car when it was taken by the suspect.

Police were called and a search of the area was immediately carried out.

At 17:53hrs, the car - a black Audi A5, registration number FY58 UAZ - was found abandoned in Hathaway Crescent, E12. The toddler was not inside.

Officers continued to carry out enquiries and a number of media appeals were issued to assist the investigation.

The child was found by a member of the public in the street in the Ruskin Avenue, E12 area at 19:49hrs.

When she was last seen, the child was wearing a white top and red trousers. However, when found, she was wearing an additional item of clothing. Officers believe that either the suspect put the clothing on the child before abandoning her, or that a member of the public dressed her due to the cold, but who at the time did not wish to contact police. If this was you, please contact officers as you may hold vital information to this investigation - we can reassure you that you are not in any trouble.

Detectives would also like to hear from anyone who saw the black Audi between the time it was stolen and when it was found. Where was the car for these 80 minutes? If you captured the vehicle on your dashcam please contact police.

The man who took the Audi is described as an Asian man of slim build, dressed in black clothing.

Detectives from Newham are leading the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101 quoting reference 4480/6Jan.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111 or tweet police via @MetCC

There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.