Police say thief took truck and baby at S. Austin store

It was just a quick dash into a Valero convenience store on Slaughter Lane.  But in a flash, Austin Police Department officer Aaron Townsend says a truck was stolen, along with a four-month old baby that was inside.

"The mother has said she had just dropped off a family member at the airport, was on her way back home, stopped off at the Valero to just go in the store for a moment and from what I understand had not even entered the store, had not gone in to purchase anything yet and observed the guy getting into her truck and driving off so it was less than 60 seconds that car was gone," said Officer Townsend.

A few miles away at the intersection of Thaxton Road and Salt Springs Drive, police stopped the truck. The child was recovered unharmed.

Felipe Morales Jr., 33, was taken into custody and charged with auto theft and evading. Morales may also be charged with kidnapping. A decision on that has not been made because Morales reportedly claims he did not know the baby was in the truck.

To reduce the number of cases of stolen cars in Austin, members of the APD auto theft prevention unit are targeting stores and restaurants with a safety awareness campaign.

For APD Neighborhood Liaison Nelson Andrade, the beginning step towards awareness is teaching responsibility.

"If people go ahead make sure they are taking those crime prevention tips, not leaving valuables out, not making themselves an easier target for these crimes of opportunities,' said APD Neighborhood Liaison Nelson Andrade.

The Thursday morning case serves as a reminder of how things can go terribly wrong very quickly.  The most recent example of that took place earlier this month.

On August 6 a 10-month-old boy died after being found inside a car parked at a southeast Austin Waffle House.

It was ruled an accident and no charges have been filed against the man who left the child in the car. Officials at the Travis County DA's office tell FOX 7 that the case will go through a grand jury review.

 In an earlier FOX 7 report Dr. Catherine Yee, with dell children's hospital, explained how  exposure to heat can shut down a body.

"Once your body reaches a certain temperature the proteins make up all of our body stop working well and proteins are in charge of the majority of our body functions so your body can't really do anything past a certain temperature your brain doesn't work none of your organs work," said Dr. Yee.

State law does allow a parent to leave a child in a car but only for five minutes. The Thursday morning incident at the Valero, according to Officer Townsend, took only 60 seconds.

"The Child abuse unit is now investigating, and they ... have been speaking with the mother, obviously. In this case I don't know if charges are going to be filed against her, so it may be one of those tough lessons learned," said Townsend.

The mother, at the minimum could be cited for leaving a running car unattended, which can carry a fine of up to $200.

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