INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A crime of opportunity led to the brief abduction of a young child Tuesday afternoon on the city’s west side.
A 2-year-old boy was in the backseat of a car stolen from the parking lot of a small animal hospital, police said.
A woman left the child and car unattended, with the key in the ignition, while she ran a brief errand at Noah’s All Pet Health Care, located at 3825 W Washington Street, according to detectives.
An unidentified male suspect jumped in the car and took off around 3:30 p.m.
Authorities were unable to confirm if the suspect was initially aware a child was in the vehicle.
Approximately 20 minutes after the first 911 call, the suspect pulled up at nearby Gethsemane Apolistic Church, located at 1501 S Belmont Ave, left the stolen car in the parking lot, knocked on a church door and fled.
A church employee alerted police after discovering the child in the car.
The boy was unharmed and reunited with family, authorities said.
The suspect remained at large Tuesday night.
Indianapolis police urged drivers to stop leaving vehicles unattended with keys — and children — inside.
In Nov. 2019, a man stole a car from a Road Ranger truck stop near I-65 and Main Street with a 3-year-old boy inside. The child was later left at a gas station on the city’s south side.
In March 2019, two men stole a Dodge Avenger from a Family Dollar store near 38th Street and Butler Avenue with a 4-year-old boy. The child was later left at a daycare near 36th Street and Layman Avenue.
Anybody with information about Tuesday’s incident is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.