Police say the woman went into the restaurant on East Olympic Boulevard at about 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, picked up the boy, and carried him outside.
KABC-TV says she tried to get into a parked car but a witness stopped her and she ran off.
In the video, the female suspect approached and carried the boy out of the restaurant, but fortunately, witnesses intervened and she let the child go, according to authorities.
“The suspect is described as a 25- to 30-year-old black or Hispanic woman with black hair and unknown color eyes. She stands at 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs approximately 115 pounds. The suspect has a possible scar or birthmark on her forehead, an unknown tattoo above her left breast, and an unknown tattoo on her upper back and left shoulder,” ABC7 reported.
However, police say the same woman may have tried to snatch another 4-year-old boy Wednesday in the same area.
Police say the boy was walking with a family member when a woman came up, pulled his hand and tried to walk away with him. The woman was stopped and ran off.
The LAPD also said on Twitter that if anyone has information or has seen the suspect, to contact LAPD RHD Detectives on 213-486-6840.
We need your help to identify & arrest this kidnap suspect. On May 14 she kidnapped a 4 yr old from inside a McDonald’s restaurant on Olympic Blvd & Central Ave, but fortunately witnesses intervened & she let the child go. Any info contact LAPD RHD Detectives (213) 486-6840. pic.twitter.com/afwKooT1Bn
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) May 16, 2019
The number of reported missing children significantly decreased in recent years, according to a report by the Department of Justice (pdf) in 2017.
Missing children typically fall into five categories: kidnapped by a family member, abducted by a nonfamily perpetrator, runaways, those who got lost, stranded, or injured, or those who went missing due to benign reasons, such as misunderstandings, according to the report.
Department of Justice researchers said in a separate report (pdf) published in 2016 that there were an estimated 105 children nationwide that were victims of stereotypical kidnappings.
Stereotypical kidnappings are defined as abductions in which a slight acquaintance or stranger moves a child at least 20 feet or holds the child at least 1 hour.
NTD News staff and The Associated Press contributed to this article.