A 4-year-old child has been found safe after carjackers stole his father’s vehicle while he was still inside Tuesday night.
The carjacking took place around midnight on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, after the boy’s father left his 2014 Dodge Dart running while he went inside a store.
The boy was in the back seat, according to police. His father said an unknown man got into the driver’s seat and sped away.
The Dodge was later abandoned about a mile away, with the boy still inside.
WREG spoke to the boy’s mother, who said her son, nicknamed RJ, is from Oklahoma, and was in Memphis visiting his father for the summer.
It was his first night there, she said.
Police said the boy called his mom on his dad’s phone while in the car with the suspect.
“He called and he kept telling me that some dude was driving his daddy’s car,” said the boy’s mother, who declined to be identified.
The carjacker then took the phone from the boy and spoke to his mother, telling her he was going to return the boy to his father.
“The dude got on the phone and was like, ‘Um, somebody stole the car. I’m going to take him back to his daddy,'” she said.
She claimed the kidnapper hit her son in the head and hung up the phone. So she called back, and RJ answered.
“He told me that the dude in the blue shirt had his daddy’s car. I said, ‘What else is he wearing?’ He said, ‘a black mask,'” she said.
The suspect eventually got out of the car and left the boy. He couldn’t figure out where he was, so his mother instructed him to start honking the horn and flashing the lights to help the police find him.
The boy was found in the abandoned car and was returned to his father. Documents show the father was given a citation for having an unattended vehicle.
Police have not released any information on the suspect.