A Prince Edward Island woman managed to save her three children from being stolen with her belongings and her vehicle in New Brunswick during a harrowing shopping trip that went horribly wrong last weekend.
The woman, who was shopping at the Champlain Mall in Dieppe, N.B., was in the parking lot near the Toys R Us entrance at approximately 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 11 when a strange man got into the vacant driver's seat of her SUV and started the engine, the woman told police.
Her three young children were in the vehicle at the time.
After unsuccessfully trying to turn off the engine, the woman was able to free her kids from the vehicle before the suspect drove away.
He took off with the SUV, which was filled with parcels of newly purchased goods and other personal valuables.
The suspect is still at large.
The Guardian did reach out to the family for comment, but they declined an interview, saying they were not ready to speak publicly at this time.
A family member did note a concern for other Islanders who may be planning similar trips to the Moncton area – a popular destination for Island shoppers.
The Codiac detachment of the RCMP is asking for the public's help in identifying the man, who is wanted in connection with the theft
The man is described as being in his mid-thirties, approximately 5'10" tall with a thin build.
He was wearing dark framed eye glasses, a black baseball hat, jeans and carried a backpack. He spoke English with no noticeable accent.
Police are sharing images captured on surveillance cameras at the mall prior to the incident.
The stolen SUV is described as a black 2010 Honda Pilot, with Prince Edward Island licence plate 908KU.
Anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the incident, or anyone who recognizes the suspect, is asked to call the Codiac Regional RCMP at 506-857-2400.
Anonymous tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by Secure Web Tips at www.crimenb.ca.