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San Jose infant who was driven off in mother's SUV found safe inside abandoned vehicle

An infant from East San Jose became the subject of an Amber Alert on Monday after a woman allegedly stole an SUV with the baby inside, but authorities located the missing child inside the abandoned vehicle several hours later.

San Jose police said 11-month-old Gabriela Quintero was seated but not strapped into her car seat when her mother, Graciella Quintero, saw someone driving away in the SUV at about 6:45 a.m. The Jeep Liberty had been parked in the family's driveway with the keys in the ignition, and Quintero had gone into the house briefly to grab some things she wanted to bring with her.

More than four hours into the search that briefly shut down Highway 101 and involved a police airplane and a Santa Clara County auto theft unit, a man reported seeing a Jeep parked in the alleyway of an apartment complex about six miles from where Gabriela lived and said he heard a baby crying. Officers found the child there uninjured, although she was taken to a hospital for a checkup and to be reunited with her mother.

"In a critical event like this, we don't spare any resources," Officer Albert Morales said.

Authorities were searching for the child's abductor. They didn't know if the baby was taken intentionally or if she was taken accidentally with the car as the target.

Both Quintero and a neighbor told police they saw a woman standing near the SUV before it was driven away.