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Tuesday Jan 19 2021
Web Desk

Man steals car, returns to lecture owner over bad parenting

Web Desk
The meat market from where the car was stolen. Photo: CNN

  • Suspect had returned with child after finding him in car
  • Crystal Leary left the engine of her car running and doors unlocked outside meat market
  • The car was recovered a few hours later from Portland

Police in the US state of Oregon is searching a thief who stole a car but then returned to the victim to give her child back who was left unattended in the car and drove away with the car again.

Beaverton Police Spokesman Officer Matt Henderson told CNN that when the suspect realised that the car, he had stolen had a child in it he returned to the mother to reprimand her. He added that at one point he also threatened to call the police.

"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," Henderson said. "We're thankful he had the decency to bring the little one back."

The police also clarified that the child in the car was unharmed.

CNN reported that the crime took place at a meat market in Beaverton, Oregan. It added that the victim Crystal Leary left the engine of her car running and doors unlocked before going inside for a few minutes to purchase meat and a gallon of milk.

She was just 15 feet away from the car on the other side of the glass, Henderson said but turned around at the wrong moment.

"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," Crystal Leary, the mother, told CNN affiliate 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, a 2013 silver Honda Pilot, was recovered a few hours later in Portland, just 8 miles away from Beaverton. Police are still searching for the thief, according to Henderson.