An afternoon stroll for a mother and her three children turned into terror when a man pulled up beside them, grabbed the woman's 7-year-old daughter, threw her in his trunk and drove away.
Sacramento Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Ramos said the girl had distanced herself from the group when a car pulled up beside them and snatched her in broad daylight.
The girl's mother started screaming, attracting the attention of neighbors, who then called 911.
Less than a minute after the kidnapping, the girl managed to open the car's trunk and jump out of the moving vehicle. Authorities would not detail how the girl was able to get out, Ramos said.
Ramos said that Christian Covey, who was in her home, heard tires screeching and ran outside.
"She was lying on the ground when I saw her," Covey told Sacramento ABC affiliate News10. "But the car was still there, and then she finally got up and came to my husband as I was running out there in the street looking for the car, but he had already hit the corner. I started talking to her and that's when she was telling us, 'he stole me, he stole me.'"
The girl sustained minor scratches after falling from the moving car onto the pavement. She was taken to an area hospital and later released.
This kidnapping may not be an isolated incident, authorities said.
"Last week an 11-year-old was approached by someone in a vehicle that pulled over, got out of their car and told her to get in, but she ran way," said Michele Gigante of the Sacramento Police Department.
"There are some similarities between the descriptions of the suspects from both incidents, but two different vehicle descriptions," Ramos said.
Witnesses described the girl's abductor as 25 to 35 years old with light-brown skin, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, with black, shoulder-length hair worn either in braids or dreadlocks. He was driving a dark green or blue four-door sedan with tinted windows.