The girl's mother parked the car outside an auto repair shop at 531 Central Avenue in Newark.
"She said, 'Did you see a black car? My baby, my baby,' then she fell in my arms," a witness said.
Witnesses say it was emotional torture for the mother, not knowing if she would see her child again.
"She was crying, she broke out in tears," said John Scott, a witness.
John Scott says the mom is one of his customers at Belmont Motor works on Central Avenue.
She stopped in around 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
A witness who did not want to be identified said the mother left her black Nissan Altima running with her 5-year-old daughter sleeping in the back seat.
"That's crazy how a person can just jump in a car and pull it back and drive off. But he had a conscience though. He could have put that little girl on the sidewalk and kept on going but he didn't, he left everything. Just thank God everybody is OK," the witness said.
This is the second time in a week a car was stolen in Newark with a child inside.
Last Thursday, an SUV was stolen with two children in the vehicle.
It was found about 30 minutes later with the kids safe and sound.
These incidents serve as a reminder that it only takes seconds for something like this to happen.
The suspect in Wednesday night's incident remains on the loose.
The mother and daughter were not hurt.
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