March 12 (UPI) — A 1-month-old girl from South Africa who was abducted from a car in a shopping center has been found unharmed one day later.
Three people have been arrested, including the baby’s 34-year-old biological mother, Sibongile Mbambo, the South African Police Service said in a Facebook post.
On Friday, she had reported carjackers forced herself and her 8-year-old daughter out of the car, and two men sped off with the infant inside from City View Shopping center in central Durban.
Hours later, police recovered the mother’s abandoned Toyota Yaris in Montclair, southern Durban. The baby and car seat were missing.
“Too many inconsistencies emerged during the interviews especially in terms of the initial reporting to the police of how the incident developed,” police said on Facebook.
Shortly after midnight Saturday, police stopped a vehicle between between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
A man, a woman and the missing baby were found.
“The diversion of policing resources by people with selfish motives cannot be tolerated at all,” the police said. “It is thus critical that in situations like this, those involved are dealt with during the processing of their cases by the courts of our country.”
Last year, 14,602 carjacking were reported, an increase by 14.3 percent on the previous year with an average of 40 cars hijacked per day, according to the latest statistics by Africa Check.
“False claims of crimes which have an entire nation and beyond in a state of sorrow and anxiety, should be condemned,” Lt. Gen. Khomotso Phahlane, the acting national commissioner, said.