HE WAS her miracle child, the baby born after the heartbreak of miscarriage early last year.
She hated letting him out of her sight and would take him everywhere with her, strapping him in his car seat when she went about her business delivering her homemade health bars and cookies specially formulated for breastfeeding moms.
So, as usual, little Henco was on his perch in the back of his mom’s Volkswagen Polo Vivo one recent morning when she dropped off her wares at a friend’s house in Observatory, Cape Town.
And then the unthinkable happened: as Alicia Lamprecht was chatting to her friend, hijackers leapt into the car and sped off with the baby inside.
“I started screaming, ‘My baby’s in the car, my baby’s in the car!’ ” Alicia (28) says. “It all happened so fast, neither my friend nor I saw who jumped into the car.”
What followed were three hours of hell for Alicia and her husband, Coenie (25), as members of the SAPS flying squad, K9 units, and volunteers hunted the streets for their baby.
Finally, the call came through: Henco had been found and apart from a few scrapes, he was unharmed.
“A wave of relief came over me,” Alicia says. “We were just sobbing. Henco was our miracle baby after our miscarriage and now he’s our miracle baby again.”
THAT morning began like any other. Alicia had a cup of coffee with her husband in their Brackenfell home, then she fed little Henco.
She then drove to Observatory to make her first call of the day to a friend who has a baby two months older than her son.
“We were standing there talking about teething and I was about to leave,” says Alicia, who was a metre away from her car parked in the driveway, the keys in the ignition.
As her friend opened the gate for Alicia, one of the family’s Staffies tried to escape and the women tried to push the dog back into the yard.
“Then we heard tyres screeching and when we looked up, my car was gone – with Henco in his seat in the back,” Alicia says.
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