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Child kidnapped in shoplifting chase

DULUTH -- A kidnapped 5-year-old child was caught in the middle of police pursuit that originated at Gwinnett Place Mall on Thursday afternoon, police said.

The incident began about 4 p.m. when a Victoria's Secret employee noticed three suspects shoplifting -- and using one of their 10-year-old daughters to carry the merchandise, police said.

The employee called mall security, and the suspects scattered in different directions inside the mall.

Security followed the suspect with the young girl outside, where she advised them she was armed with a knife, police said.

The suspect then picked a parked car at random where three children -- ages 10, 8 and 5 -- were seated inside, and she ordered the kids out of the car. The 5-year-old, seat-belted to a booster seat inside, was unable to flee, and the suspect drove off with the child, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter.

The suspect abandoned the car at a nearby Fudrucker's restaurant on Merchants Way at Satellite Boulevard, leaving the 5-year-old behind uninjured, Ritter said.

Robbery unit investigators have arrested two suspects but are withholding their names. A search for the others continues.

"(The names) may compromise the continued investigation if released," Ritter said.