A 16-year-old juvenile on probation is facing a longer criminal record after police say the teen stole a truck with a 2-year-old child inside in North Texas early Thursday morning.
Sansom Park police said the juvenile, whose name was not released, took the truck from a home in the 3000 block of Biway shortly before 6:30 a.m.
Police said the woman who owned the truck put her child in the car and went back inside her home for only a moment so she could tell her husband goodbye. When she went back outside, the truck and her child were gone.
After the police were notified of the theft, Sansom Park officers began searching for the truck and missing child. But within minutes, someone nearby had already come across the little boy.
“He was still in the 5-point restraints, just sitting there perfectly fine,” said Leslie Barnes.
She and her son were leaving for school when they heard someone crying outside their apartment on Arrow Lane.
“He just made one loud holler,” Barnes explained. “I thought maybe he fell off a car or maybe someone forgot to put him in there. And then I asked him, 'Did mom and dad put you out here?' He said, 'No.’”
The 2-year old was sitting in his car seat, covered in a blanket, in a field next to their apartment complex. Barnes immediately called 911, not realizing police were already on their way after spotting their suspect walking out of a nearby Shell gas station.
“He was walking towards the officer and toward the vehicle until he realizes there's a police officer and stops, pauses, turns and starts to walk away. The officer stopped him,” Lake Worth Police Chief Jimmy Womack said.
According to Womack, the teen admitted to the theft and then instructed officers where to find the child. They responded to Barnes’ complex, along with the boy’s mother.
“I'm glad he's OK. He's a sweet baby,” Barnes said, “Mom got out of the truck and she's just blowing me kisses saying, ‘Thank you! Thank you!’ I know I would have been hysterical. I would have been hysterical. He was OK. Thank God.”
Police said the child was examined by emergency responders and found to be unharmed. Officials have not said what additional charges the juvenile will face.