A woman left her 4-month-old niece in a running car to make a quick stop at a Long Island Subway restaurant Monday, and when she came out, the car -- and the baby -- were gone, authorities said.
The vehicle was stolen outside the fast-food spot on Union Boulevard in Bay Shore while the woman was inside the store around 8 a.m.
Both the baby and the vehicle were found abandoned a short distance away. The baby was not harmed. The officer who found her said she was awake and alert.
The aunt, 43-year-old Gail Solomon of Bay Shore, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Police say she chased the car down the street to a nearby 7-11 but couldn't catch up. It wasn't immediately clear if she had an attorney.
Authorities believe whoever stole the car saw a crime of opportunity. They believe the suspect had two other people in the car with him.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.