An Oregon mom learned a parenting lesson the toughest way imaginable when a carjacker stole her vehicle with her four-year-old child in it. The thief targeted the mom’s car in Beaverton, Oregon, where she had it parked outside of a grocery store. Mom only planned to be inside the store for a few minutes and decided to leave her four-year-old child in the car while she was running her errand, believing that she would be in and out before the child could get into trouble.
Mom reported that she left her car unlocked and running as she made a run into the store. Because the car thief found the door unlocked, he was able to get into the car and drive away with it very easily. However, he learned pretty soon after the theft that he had more than a vehicle to contend with – he was also kidnapping a child by accident. That was a crime he was not willing to deal with.
The thief drove the mom’s 2013 Honda Pilot out of the parking lot only to find the child in the backseat. He then pulled a U-turn and went into a nearby parking lot. He then turned the car around again and drove back to the grocery store where the mom was still shopping without realizing her son had been kidnapped.
Beaverton police spokesman Officer Matt Henderson said that the thief caught up with the “bad” mom and gave her a lecture about keeping children unattended in an unlocked car.
“He actually lectured the mother for leaving the child in the car and threatened to call the police on her,” Henderson said.
Although the car thief was trying to steal mom’s car, he felt he was in a position to teach her something about parenting. The man told her to take her child out of the car. Then the thief rode off with her Honda Pilot.
“He orders her to take the kid out of the car, and she does,” Henderson said.
It was a bad situation for mom from beginning to end.
“Obviously, we’re thankful he brought the little one back and had the decency to do that,” Henderson said.
However, mom did not commit a crime by leaving her child in the vehicle with the engine running and the car doors unlocked. The boy would have been able to get out in an emergency.
“What she did was not a crime. She was within sight and sound of her child,” Henderson said. “But she left the car running, so take that extra step, take the keys with you. It’s a good reminder to take extra precaution when we have our little ones with us.”
Police say the suspect was in his twenties or thirties with dark brown or black braided hair. He was wearing a face mask that had a multi-colored design.
Beaverton Police are asking the public for help to find the car thief. So far, they have not been able to arrest any suspects, according to the last report from the Oregonian.