Oregon police are searching for a man who stole a car and then returned to scold the car owner for leaving her child in the vehicle.
Crystal Leary left the engine of her SUV running and the doors unlocked at a meat market in Beaverton.
A man seized the opportunity to steal the vehicle, not knowing that Leary’s son was inside.
Realizing that the child was inside, the man returned to the scene, yelled at the mother, threatened to call the police, and then drove off again once the woman took her son.
The SUV was recovered a few hours later; however, authorities are still searching for the suspect.
On Saturday, Crystal Leary’s vehicle was stolen at the Basics Meat Market in Beaverton.
According to CNN, the woman left the engine running and the doors unlocked when she went inside to purchase meat and a gallon of milk. A man had seized the opportunity to steal the 2013 Honda Pilot when Leary was just 15 feet away from her vehicle. Shortly after he had driven off, the thief had reportedly noticed that the woman’s son was inside the car. Returning to the scene, the man lectured the mother for leaving her child, threatened to call the police on her, and then drove off again once Leary took her son.
Beaverton Police Spokesman Officer Matt Henderson spoke to CNN:
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. We’re thankful he had the decency to bring the little one back. […] This is a good learning lesson for all of us who have children. Be extra careful with your kids, take the extra step to make sure they’re safe.
Speaking to KPTV, Crystal Leary commented on her grave mistake:
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 terribly it could have ended. So I’m just thankful that he’s OK and it was so stupid and I’ll never do that again, but it’s that split second decision that could just change everything.
While authorities were able to locate the stolen vehicle, they are still searching for the suspect. FOX 13 reported that the thief is believed to be a white man in his 20s or 30s with dark brown braided hair.
If you have any information regarding the theft, please contact Beaverton police at 503-629-0111.