Horror as baby is snatched from supermarket trolley after mum turns her back for ten seconds
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Featured Image Credit: Daniella Wolff/Facebook
Danielle Wolff had been food shopping with her eight-month-old daughter at a Spar store in Alberton, South Africa, when an employee took her child from the trolley and walked off.
After the unsettling incident, Danielle asked the store's manager for access to the CCTV footage, which she shared on Facebook the next day to alert other parents.
In the clip, Danielle can be seen carrying her child in her arms, until she sees something she wants in the butcher section of the supermarket. While she's crouched, a shop assistant strolls up to her trolley and picks up the toddler.
Explaining the footage to viewers, she wrote: "I have her in my arms and when I get to the meat section, I place her in the trolley to free up my hands. I find what I’m looking for and bend down. Within an instant a stranger is seen in the video taking my daughter. I look up and she’s gone."
After frantically looking around for her daughter, Danielle spots her in the employee's arms and runs over to him to take her back.
The mum explained that when she asked the man what he was doing with her daughter, he was 'smiling and laughing' and told her 'he walked past the trolley and my daughters arms were up, so he picked her up'.
Danielle admitted she was 'frozen and confused' by his alleged response.
She continued: "I am unsure what to do next. The man again approaches me to 'demonstrate' what my daughter was doing and that she wants to go with him."
Describing her initial response as 'angry, shocked, and hysterical', the mum says she was so 'overcome with emotion' that she abandoned her food shopping and went to find a manager.
Danielle claimed that, when she explained the situation to management, they agreed the employee was in the wrong, but 'advised he didn't mean any harm.'
Both Danielle and her husband Bradley requested to see the CCTV footage of the incident, and agreed it was 'so disturbing'.
She wrote: "I’ve watched this video so many times, a few more seconds and who knows what could have happened."
Eventually, the South African Police Service were called to the scene, and arrested the member of staff after seeing the security footage for themselves.
Speaking to local news site Alberton Record, Warrant Officer Gerhard Cornelius confirmed that a 43-year-old man was arrested for attempted kidnapping.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Spar also commented on the incident, stating: "We have provided the CCTV footage to the police and management are fully co-operating with the authorities in their investigation.
"We are extremely relieved a reported case of baby snatching was foiled on Sunday and we can confirm we immediately decided to suspend one member of staff.
"We will take further action based on the results of the ongoing investigation and the Spar group is reaching out to the family to offer any help they need including counselling.
"The Spar group adopts a zero-tolerance approach to crime and will ensure the strongest possible consequences to those commit crimes in our stores to ensure customer safety"