LAWNDALE (CBSLA.com) — A man had just strapped his 2-year-old son into his car seat Monday when a stranger jumped into the family’s truck and drove off.
The boy’s parents told CBS2/KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez that the incident happened in a matter of seconds at around 3 p.m. near 173rd Street and Grevillea Avenue.
The father, who didn’t want to be identified, said he had just placed his son in the car when he remembered he left something inside his apartment. He left the car running, with the air conditioner on, and rushed back inside.
When the boy’s father came back out he saw his truck being driven away.
“My heart dropped. I was in complete shock…complete nervous breakdown,” he said.
The boy’s mother said she didn’t know what to do; she started making phone calls, asking them to pray for her son’s safe return.
The father called 911 and, within five minutes, the couple’s prayers had been answered.
Sheriff’s deputies had spotted the driver near 168th Street and Hawthorne Boulevard. They pulled the suspect over and arrested him without incident.
Authorities have not yet released the suspect’s identity or what charges he faces.
Investigators said they don’t know whether the suspect knew the child was in the backseat.
The car had been missing for 15 to 20 minutes.
Deputies said the parents did nothing wrong and face no charges.