Car thief threatens to call police on mother who left child in backseat

BEAVERTON, Ore. — An Oregon man allegedly stole a vehicle Saturday then returned to berate and threaten to call the police on the car’s owner, who had left her child in the back seat, investigators said.

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Beaverton Police said the woman went into a grocery store around 9 p.m., leaving her 4-year-old child inside a Honda Pilot with the engine running and the doors unlocked, the Oregonian reported.

The car was about 15 feet from the store’s entrance, police said.

The woman had been inside the store for just a few minutes when someone drove off with the SUV. However, the alleged car thief returned shortly once he realized the child was in the back.

“He actually lectured the mother for leaving the child in the car and threatened to call the police on her,” Officer Matt Henderson said.

Police said the mother did nothing wrong.

“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 precautions when we have our little ones with us.”

Police found the vehicle a few hours later. No arrests have been made. The suspect is a man in his 20s or 30s with dark brown or black braided hair and a multicolored face mask.

“Obviously, we’re thankful he brought the little one back and had the decency to do that,” Henderson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.