This is the horrific moment a baby was snatched from a shopping trolley as his parents’ back was turned in a South African supermarket – just two weeks after a near-identical case.
In the footage, a woman in her 50s strolls calmly down the frozen food aisle of a Port Elizabeth cash and carry store as if shopping.
But when she gets to the shopping cart of the 23-year-old mother and 28-year-old father, she suddenly stretches out her arms for the toddler.
In just a second, the suspected kidnapper grabs the baby under the arms and hoists him out of the car into a “maternal cuddle session.”
Then the woman, who was subsequently arrested before exiting the store with an alleged accomplice, walks away with the little girl.
Moments later, the couple turn to put some frozen food in their shopping cart, see that their daughter has been stolen, and yell loudly for help.
The quick-thinking father sprints to the front doors of the Cleary Park store and tells the guards his baby has been kidnapped, and he locks the doors.
Just as the doors slam, a woman approaches the distraught father and points out that her daughter is being carried by her friend, claiming it’s all a “joke”.
The woman, in her 50s, saunters down the aisle as calmly as if she’s shopping in the frozen food section of a cash and carry in Port Elizabeth, reaching out to grab the toddler
In just a second, the cool and collected suspected kidnapper grabs the baby under the arms and whisks him out of the car and into a “maternal cuddle”.
The parents, who have never seen the two women, aged 51 and 56, retrieve their daughter and security personnel immediately call the police.
Both women were arrested on suspicion of attempted kidnapping and taken to the police station, where they still claim they were “just fooling around”.
Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that after checking the CCTV, one of the women was seen walking past the car, touched the baby’s head, and then walked away.
She said: “Within seconds another woman approached and in the blink of an eye grabbed the child and walked away as the parents were at the fridges.
“They had their backs to the car and the child was gone in a second, then the father turned and saw his baby was missing and ran to the door.
“As the guard closed the doors, the first woman pointed out to the father that the child was with the second suspect and said they were ‘just kidding’.
The quick-thinking father sprints to the front doors of the Cleary Park store and tells the guards his baby has been kidnapped, and he locks the doors. Just as the doors slam, a woman approaches the distraught father and points out that her daughter is being carried by her friend, claiming it’s all a “joke”.
“Two women, aged 51 and 56, have been arrested while we investigate an alleged kidnapping,” she said.
Naidu said the two women and the parents did not know each other.
It comes as a similar kidnapping made headlines in the UK just 18 days ago when mother-of-two Danielle Wolff posted on Facebook video surveillance of her young daughter showing her being kidnapped.
Mum-of-two Daniella Wolff had her daughter in the booster seat of her shopping trolley as she selected items from the refrigerated meat coolers at her local SuperSpar store in the town of Alberton, near Johannesburg.
But as she turned to open the glass door and bent down to pick up the meat, a male store clerk calmly walked over and snatched her baby from the shopping cart.
CCTV shows the butcher’s assistant lifting the baby from the cart and walking away with the boy in his arms.
Mum-of-two Daniella Wolff had her daughter in the booster seat of her shopping trolley as she selected items from the refrigerated meat coolers at her local SuperSpar store in the town of Alberton, near Johannesburg
But as she turned to open the glass door and bent down to pick up what she meant, a store employee calmly walked over and snatched her baby from the shopping cart
The shop worker is seen carrying the baby away from her mother in the South African shop
Mom of two Daniella Wolff with her husband Bradley
Wolff, from Alberton, turns to put the food in the shopping trolley but is horrified to find her eight-month-old daughter missing.
As Wolff yelps in horror, she quickly turns to see her daughter being carried away by the store clerk, who is trying to get out of sight behind a grocery aisle.
Wolff ran up to the clerk and grabbed her baby as she yelled, “Where did you take her? What did you want to do with her?’
The devastated mother posted the SuperSpar security office’s video surveillance on her Facebook and herself reported what had happened.
She said: “I have her in my arms and when I get to the meat section I put her in the cart to have my hands free and when I find what I’m looking for I bend down.
“In an instant, the video shows a stranger taking my daughter. I look up and she’s gone. I immediately look for her and find her in the arms of this man.
“I can take her away from him and tell me what he’s doing to my daughter? Why does he have her? He smiles and laughs and I say it’s not a joke and it’s not amusing.
“He told me he had walked past the car and my daughter’s arms were up, so he picked her up. I am frozen and confused. Why is he laughing? I tell him it’s not funny.
Wolff, from Alberton, turns to put the food in the shopping trolley but is horrified to find her eight-month-old daughter missing
As Wolff cries out in horror, she quickly turns to see her daughter being carried away by the store clerk who is behind a grocery store trying to leave the premises. Wolff ran up to the clerk and grabbed her baby as she yelled, “Where did you take her? What did you want to do with her?’
“You don’t touch a child, you don’t take a child. I’m not sure what to do next, and the man comes up to me again to “demonstrate” what my daughter is doing.
“He said she wanted to go with him and I’m so angry, shocked, hysterical and screaming, ‘Where did you take her? What did you want to do with her?”
Wolff called her husband Bradley, who rushed to the SuperSpar and, after reviewing CCTV footage, insisted on reporting a case of attempted baby robbery.
The South African Police Service was called and after seeing the video arrested officer Mduduzi Tholebaon on suspicion of kidnapping.
He appeared in court and was released on bail and suspended from SuperSpar for allegedly snatching Danielle and her husband Bradley’s baby from a shopping trolley.
A spokesman for SuperSpar said: “We have made the CCTV footage available to the police and management is cooperating fully with the authorities in their investigation.
“We are very relieved that a reported baby robbery case was thwarted on Sunday and we can confirm that we made an immediate decision to suspend an employee.
“We will take further action based on the findings of the ongoing investigation and the SPAR Group is reaching out to the family to offer them any help they may need, including advice.
“The SPAR Group has a zero tolerance approach to crime and will ensure the strictest possible consequences for those who commit crimes in our stores to ensure customer safety.”
Videos of the twin attempted kidnappings have shocked South Africa in a crime-ridden nation where baby and child trafficking is now big business.