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"We’re thankful he had the decency to bring the little one back," said Beaverton Police Spokesman Officer Matt Henderson

By Naledi Ushe
January 19, 2021 06:28 PM
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stolen car
Credit: KPTV Fox 12 Oregon

One Oregon man made it clear he's a car thief, not a kidnapper.

On Saturday morning, a suspect described by authorities as a white male with long, dark brown braided hair in a multicolored face mask took off with Crystal Leary's car as she went inside a meat market in Beaverton for a few items.

The suspect, police told CNN, drove off with the 2013 silver Honda Pilot before he noticed a 4-year-old boy was in the backseat of the unattended car. 

Once the suspect realized he was unintentionally kidnapping, he returned the child to Leary and threatened to call the cops on her for leaving her son in the vehicle alone. 

"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," Beaverton Police Spokesman Officer Matt Henderson said. 

stolen car
Credit: KPTV Fox 12 Oregon

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

The child was unharmed although his mother got a stern lecture from the thief before he sped off, again, in her car.

"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," Leary told KPTV Fox 12 Oregan. "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," she said.

Henderson echoed, "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."

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The car was later found in Portland, just 8 miles from the scene of the original crime. 

Police are still searching for the suspect.