A primary schoolteacher yesterday told how she hurled herself out of her moving vehicle in a Birmingham street after a car-jacker stole it while she was in the back.
The mother-of-one, from Edgbaston, was loading her red Renault Scenic with groceries in the car park of Sainsbury's supermarket in Chapel Lane, Selly Oak, when the thief struck.
She told how she tried to get the car-jacker to stop when, at about 11.30am on Sunday, he started the ignition.
"I was on the back seat, half in and half out, putting mine and my mother's weekly shop in the boot," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.
"This man got into the driver's seat and started to drive off. The car park was packed with cars and people.
"My first reaction was anger. I was angry, because on a normal day I would have my 15-month-old son in the back. I grabbed him, I got hold of his jacket, and told him 'you can't do this sort of thing'. I couldn't believe he was driving off."
The car-jacker drove off quickly, hitting two other cars in his bid to get away. He was abusive towards his victim and, according to her, unperturbed at having taken a passenger.
"I told him 'I'm no use to you' but he ignored me," she said. "He was very calm and collected and I think that was the most chilling thing about him.
"The car slowed down on Harborne Lane and I took my opportunity. I thought it was now or never and I opened the door and threw myself out."
Frightened for her mother, who had recently had major heart surgery and was still in the store when the theft happened, she started walking back to Sainsbury's. Fortunately she was able to flag down a jogger and use his mobile phone to call her husband, who is a firefighter.
She reported the incident to the police but yesterday evening her husband and her father decided to look for the car and within half an hour, found it in Woodgate Valley.
"When they took off, I said to my mother it was a waste of time, but I knew they wanted to do something to help," she said. "When they phoned to say they had found it I was absolutely ecstatic."
The car is being dusted for fingerprints.
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said anyone with information can call 0845 113 5000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 1111. The thief was 6ft, well built, with short blond hair and wore a tracksuit.