Palestinian carjackers left a distressed mother on the side of the road as they stole her vehicle with her infant daughter still in the back seat. The father of the child, alerted to the event, gave chase and managed to locate his vehicle and daughter.

The incident began on Tuesday afternoon as a woman from the settlement of Dolev in the northern West Bank was driving home with her 15-month-old baby in the back seat of the car.

“All of a sudden a car came right up behind me,” the unnamed woman told Ynet in a report Wednesday.

Although she tried to speed up she soon felt the thump of impact against the back of her car. After pulling over she got out to inspect the damage and noticed three Palestinian men were in the car behind her. One of them got out and asked her what had happened. However, before she could answer, the man jumped into the driver’s seat of her car and sped off, as did the other vehicle.

“I was helpless,” the woman said. “My cell phone was in the car.”

The distraught mother ran into the middle of the road, shouting that her daughter had been kidnapped. A passing Arab driver stopped and let her use his cell phone to call her husband, who was at home.

The husband sprang into action as soon as he received the alarming call from his wife. The veteran of an elite IDF unit pulled on a pair of shoes, grabbed a knife and dashed out along with a friend armed with a pistol, who offered the use of his jeep to give chase.

“We knew that every minute was critical,” the father said. “As we reported it to the army we drove very fast chasing after them.”

The two men drove out to where the mother was waiting. She showed them the direction in which the perpetrators had taken off. The two kept going, realizing they were headed toward Ramallah.

The chase led them into an Arab village, and when they arrived a local resident got their attention and told them to follow him. The man led them to the stolen vehicle, which had been abandoned on the side of the road, with the baby girl still inside, who reportedly slept through the incident.

As IDF and police units began to mass outside the village to launch a rescue operation, members of the Palestinian security forces approached the father and his friend, demanding to take them to Ramallah for questioning. The Israelis refused and made a hasty retreat to the town of Modi’in-Illit, where they filed a complaint with the local police.