A North Carolina mother was trying to do the right thing when she pulled over to help the victim of a car accident. But it turned into the scare of a lifetime for Tasha Dillard when a thief subsequently stole her car — while her young daughter was still inside.
ABC11 reports that Dillard was headed home with her daughter when she saw a truck flipped over on the side of the highway. While one victim had gotten out of the truck, there was still another stuck in the vehicle. Dillard leaped into action, hopping out of her own car and attempting to free the passenger. However, Dillard soon saw her car door open out of the corner of her eye, and realized that the other victim of the accident had climbed into the driver’s seat of her vehicle. Though she was able to reach the door handle, the man quickly took off down the highway, with Dillard chasing behind.
"I was just trying to help somebody and I became a victim myself," Dillard told ABC11.
Two Good Samaritans, Megan and Tim Phillips, saw the incident occur, and drove after the car thief.
Meanwhile, Dillard’s 12-year-old daughter remained in the backseat, and called her grandmother on her phone.
"They said he was so nice. I think he just panicked," Dillard said of the suspect. "I don't think he wanted to hurt my daughter. Because he was like, ‘It's going to be OK. Don't cry. I'm going to drop you off at Walmart.'"
Though the couple were unable to catch the suspect, he did ditch the car close to Walmart before attempting to flee the scene on foot.
Despite the scare, Dillard says she was “so happy” to see that her daughter remained unharmed.
"I know that I will probably help somebody else in need but I am going to be extra-cautious next time,” Dillard told ABC11. “I just hope that he turns himself in and gets the help that he needs."
Raleigh Police arrested Toney Bridges, 47, on Friday and charged him with first-degree kidnapping and larceny of motor vehicle.
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