An Oregon man who stole a car while the owner's child was in the backseat is wanted by police after they returned to the scene to tell the woman to not leave her child unattended. CNN reports that the man who stole the car was unaware the child was in the backseat when he drove off, but by the time he realized what happened, he went back and even threatened to call police on the child's mother, Crystal Leary.
"He hopped in the car, drove it, realized there was a 4-year-old inside, and drove back and ordered her to take the child out of the car and then drove away again," Beaverton Police Spokesman Officer Matt Henderson said in a statement shared with CNN. "We're thankful he had the decency to bring the little one back." Thankfully the child in the backseat was unharmed.
The theft reportedly took place at a meat market in Beaverton, where Leary left her car running and the doors unlocked before she went inside to buy some food quickly. "As moms, we get really busy and we think we're just running in for a second and this is just a perfect example of just letting our guards down and how terrible it could have ended," Leary told KPTV. "I am thankful that he is okay. It was so stupid and I'll never do that again, but it's that split second decision that can just change everything."
The car was recovered hours later in Portland, which is just eight miles away from where the car was taken. Police are still searching for the thief, who was described as a white male with dark brown braided hair, and a multi-colored face mask. "This is a good learning lesson for all of us who have children," Henderson added.