Thief steals vehicle at Dallas gas station with child in backseat

It was a terrifying moment at a southeast Oak Cliff gas station when a man stole a car with a young child still inside.

Surveillance video shows a man jumping into the vehicle and hitting a car while driving away. The child's father then ran out of the store.

Dallas police say a car thief had no idea the vehicle he was stealing had a small child in it. Thankfully, the child is okay. Detectives have surveillance video to help them find the thief.

Saturday afternoon in broad daylight, a minivan pulls up to the Hi-Mart on Simpson Stuart Road at Bonnie View in Southeast Oak Cliff. Surveillance video shows the owner get out and go inside. Police say he left his 4-year-old child in the vehicle and the doors unlocked.

Moments later, video shows the car thief jump in the passenger side and scoot over behind the wheel. Right about the time he puts it in gear and starts to back out, the child's dad bolt from the store and starts chasing the thief.

After grazing another car in the process, video shows the thief backing up beyond the pumps and taking off with the father chasing right behind.

The store clerk, who asked that her face not be shown, says she's seen more than one stolen car after people go into the store with their car running and unlocked.

“They think it's supposed to be a quick in and out,” she said. “They come in, and their car is gone when they go out.”

Dallas police confirm the suspect has been seen at the store before. A short time later, the thief dropped off the 4-year-old safe and unharmed. The vehicle is still missing.

"They'll run from across the street and take your car,” the store clerk. “Or they'll sit out there in a group.  And if you leave your car running, they'll jump in it and go. Yeah, they're out there watching.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Dallas Police Department.

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