Toddler safe after car stolen with child inside in NE Phila.

EMBED </>More Videos

Watch the report from Dann Cuellar on Action News at 11 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2017. (WPVI)

A young child is back safe with his family after a thief jumped into his father's car, taking the 3-year-old for a wild ride.

It happened around 4:20 p.m. in the area of Cottman Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia.

The child's 30-year-old father says he was shopping for sneakers at a shopping mall and left his car running with the child in the back seat. That's when he saw a man jump into the car and begin to speed off.

He tells police he tried to stop the man, but he kept going.

"Within minutes police were notified that a 3-year-old child was dropped off in a baby seat behind the fire station at 8200 Roosevelt Boulevard," said Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. "When police responded to that location they found the 3-year-old child sitting in a baby seat. The child was not injured."

The child's mother and other family members would soon descend on the location, feeling anxious about what had happened.

Police say this case serves as a reminder of why you should not leave a child unattended in a car, especially with the keys inside.

"First of all, it's illegal to leave your car with the engine running. That in itself is a crime. But to leave your child inside of the car with the engine running is also a crime. You should never leave your child in a vehicle - especially in the summer," said Small.

The stolen car was recovered around 7:15 p.m. and an arrest was made along the 6800 block of Torresdale Avenue in the city's Tacony section.

Police say they received several calls from the community reporting a car fitting the description driving erratically. So, police saturated the area and found the vehicle.

A positive identification of the suspect was made by the toddler's father and the case is now being handled by the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit.

Send a breaking news alert
Report a correction or typo
Learn more about the 6abc apps
Related Topics:
philadelphia newscar theftabductionNortheast Philadelphia
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)