Knifepoint abduction of mum and baby at shopping centre

A mother is afraid to leave her home after she and her baby were abducted from a shopping centre by a man armed with a knife.

The victim, known as Kieren, says she was terrified the offender would hurt her six-month-old daughter during the ordeal.

She was getting out of her silver Suzuki at Stud Park Shopping Centre car park in Rowville, Melbourne's southeast, on May 10 when the man approached her with a knife.

He forced her into the driver's seat before getting into the back seat next to the baby.

The man then forced the mother to drive to three different electrical stores and go inside to buy Apple MacBooks while he waited with the child.

Eventually, he took over driving and pulled up at Robert Booth Reserve where he got out and left with the laptops.

The mother sought help from a nearby kebab shop.

A man wanted by Victoria Police
The man was aged between 20 and 35 and was wearing a grey hoodie and a fluorescent vest. (HANDOUT/VICTORIA POLICE)

Mother and child were not physically harmed, but Kieren says she was terrified he would drive off with the baby while she was inside the stores.

"I was just so worried in a panic that he would drive away with her inside and he didn't, I was thankful for that," she told reporters through tears on Friday.

Kieren tried to de-escalate the situation by being nice to her abductor but felt so sick at one point she had to pull over to vomit.

"All I can remember hearing was my daughter crying, he was trying to get her to calm down and I was trying to get him to calm down, we were both crying," she said.

Kieren's husband was able to track her location by her phone and caught up with the car at the second store where he unsuccessfully tried to stop the abduction.

"I just remember yelling at my husband that he has a knife and that I just didn't want him to get hurt," she said.

"Then my husband tried to save my daughter, but couldn't."

She said the man told her he was a nurse and would not hurt her daughter as she was the same age as his niece.

"I had to believe he wasn't going to hurt us in the end," she said.

The mother has only left her house once since the abduction, and is fearful the man knows information about her as he had her wallet in the car.

"I have to tell myself that it's very unlikely to ever, ever happen again to me and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone else, it's really hard to feel safe," she said.

Detective Senior Constable Jonathan Minehan said the abduction was unusual and appears to have been an isolated incident.

He said the mother behaved in an admirable and impressive way that kept her and the baby safe.

"To put a young family through a protracted and traumatic experience purely for financial gain, it baffles me," he said.

Anyone who may be able to identify the man, or who has dashcam footage from the Stud Park area between 5.30pm and 6.30pm on May 10, has been asked to contact investigators.

Detectives have described the offender as being of Asian appearance aged between 20 and 35.

He was wearing a grey hoodie, green fluorescent vest, a dark face covering, black pants and dark shoes.

Police are performing extra patrols in the area and have set up an information caravan.