Accused carjacker faces court over abduction
12:30PM: AN ACCUSED car-jacker who allegedly stole a family car with a toddler still strapped in the backseat was on parole for other serious crimes, the Coffs Harbour Court heard on Wednesday.
Dwayne Peckham, 32, was arrested on a warrant on Tuesday night following investigations into the abduction of a two-year-old girl at Castle St on Monday morning.
The toddler and her six-year-old sister were in the back of a black Honda Odyssey and their father standing in a nearby shop, when a stranger jumped in the front seat.
The older girl was able to escape while the toddler was allegedly taken on a 90 minute journey around Coffs Harbour before being left in the car at an Ocean Pde motel.
Peckham was picked up in the same street last night and taken to the Coffs Harbour station where he was charged with take/detain person with intent to obtain advantage, unlawfully take/drive motor vehicle with person in it, steal from person and custody of a knife in a public place.
His parole was revoked and the court heard he would be behind bars for at least 15 months for unrelated offences.
The car-jacking case will return to the Coffs Harbour court on July 23.
WEDNESDAY - 8.30AM: THE 32 year-old man arrested for Monday's alleged carjacking will appear in Coffs Harbour Local Court today.
The man will face charges of take/detain person with intent to obtain advantage, unlawfully take/drive motor vehicle with person in it, steal from person and custody of a knife in a public place.
TUESDAY - 5.00PM: AN ABDUCTED toddler is back with her relieved family as police quiz the man accused of stealing her parent's car while she was still strapped in the back and dumping it at a Park Beach motel.
The two-year-old and her six-year-old sister were waiting for their father to get back from a quick coffee run when a stranger jumped in the front of their black Honda Odyssey and sped off from the Castle St carpark about 10.45am.
Witnesses said the elder sister tried to free her younger sibling but was forced to get out of the car, leaving the toddler unrestrained.
A retired couple raised the alarm after seeing the girl running up the street and calling out for help.
For a frantic 90 minutes, police searched local streets and patrolled the Pacific Hwy while the distraught father, a well-known local businessman, was comforted by family and friends.
Finally, good news came from the owner of the Tahitian motel, who dialled 000 to say the car had been left in the Ocean Pde car park with the girl still inside.
Police rushed to the scene and found the girl shaken but safe.
Friends who had been helping with the search hugged the girl until family arrived from the police station.
The brazen car-jacking sparked a massive man-hunt.
Last night, investigating officers arrested a 32-year-old man in the same street where the car had been discovered.
He was taken to the Coffs Harbour station where he was assisting police with inquiries.