Shocking moment when a thief steals a car with a baby still inside – while the criminal is still on the run
- Woman went into store and left sleeping baby in car
- Thief sped off, car dumped in nearby suburb
- The boy’s father is relieved that the thief had a conscience
- Citywide manhunt for thief continues
A father has spoken out after a thief drove off in his partner’s car with their son still in the back seat.
The mother had briefly ducked into a pet shop in Clearview Plaza in north Adelaide on Thursday morning and left her sleeping one-year-old son in the car parked outside.
She was keeping a close eye on the white Mazda CX9 SUV the entire time when an opportunistic thief jumped into the car and started backing up.
New CCTV footage has emerged from The Pet Food Center of the shocking moment the frantic mother ran outside and startled customers as the shop owner watched in horror as the shop owner contacted the police.
The grief-stricken mother tried to confront the thief and open the back door but wash fell to the ground as the car drove off.
Police tracked the car’s movements using her mobile phone before the vehicle was found abandoned 20 minutes later, 2.8 miles away in Rowe Circuit, Walkley Heights.
The little boy was still unharmed in the backseat.
His panicked father Michael Ryan rushed to the scene and has since remembered the poignant moment when he received the call from the police.
The stolen Mazda CX9 with a baby boy fast asleep in the backseat was caught on CCTV driving away, causing panic for 20 minutes
“When I got the call saying there was an emergency my partner was getting dog food and someone had decided to jump into our car while my partner was inside and drove off with my son in the car,” Mr Ryan told 10 News.
“Obviously when you get a call you think the worst, luckily this person had half a heart and half a conscience.”
Ambulance personnel treated the mother at the scene for bruises she sustained when she was dragged across the ground by the moving car.
Both she and the little boy were taken to hospital for examination.
“I think (it’s) lucky that he (his son) isn’t old enough to know what was going on,” Mr Ryan said.
“He’s a trooper.”
The thief, who was last seen running toward Stockdale Botanic Park, has been on the run since Friday morning.
CCTV footage captured the moment Michael Ryan’s partner ran out of the pet shop after seeing an opportunistic thief jump into her car while her baby slept in the backseat
The boy’s father, Michael Ryan (pictured), is relieved that the thief had a conscience
Shocked witnesses recall how the mother desperately tried to cling to the car as the thief drove away.
“I just saw the lady yell and scream, as she tried to hold on to the car and as he drove off screaming, ‘Oh, they’ve got my baby, the baby’s in the back,'” John told Seven News.
The mother was away from her car for 90 seconds and did not take her eyes off the vehicle during that time.
‘We then served a few customers. She ran after the car. She was the car all the time, you could tell,” said Tim Beaton, co-owner of the Pet Food Center.
The desperate manhunt to track down the thief continues.
He is described as having a white appearance with a tousled beard. He wore faded sweatpants with light lines down the side, a hooded sweater that was cream with a little white.
Detectives are urging anyone who may have noticed suspicious behavior in Walkley Heights and a Mazda CX9 station wagon to contact Crime Stoppers.
Michael Ryan (right) rushed to the crime scene after receiving a call from police
The incident comes less than a year after another Adelaide mother went through a similar harrowing ordeal.
Last June, Erika Carter left the engine running with four-month-old son Jordan asleep in the backseat of her car as she ducked into a sandwich shop in Klemzig to buy a loaf of bread.
Seconds later, the distraught mother was caught on CCTV entering the parking lot as the alleged thief backed up and drove off in the vehicle.
Her car was found abandoned two hours later with Jordan still inside, crying but unharmed.
The mother had ducked into a shop to buy dog food in Clearview Plaza in north Adelaide on Thursday morning when a thief stole her car with her sleeping son still in the backseat