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Thief did not realize baby was in back seat when car stolen in Mississauga

A baby boy who was inside a car stolen in Mississauga, Ont., this morning has been located and is safe, Peel Regional Police say.

'As soon as the suspect realized there was a child in the vehicle, he abandoned it'

Police located the Honda SUV near the gas station about 40 minutes after it was reported stolen. (Michael Cole/CBC)

The theft of a vehicle with a nine-month-old baby inside in Mississauga, Ont., this morning was a “crime of opportunity” and not an attempt to abduct the child, Peel Regional Police said.

The boy was in the backseat of a Honda CRV when it was stolen from a gas station at the intersection of Rexwood and Derry roads shortly after 9 a.m. ET while the baby's mother was inside paying for gas.

The compact SUV was located about half an hour later abandoned in the driveway of an apartment building just west of the gas station with the boy still inside. Const. Lilly Fitzpatrick told reporters she believes a resident at the complex alerted police that the vehicle was there. 

The baby was treated by paramedics at the scene as a precautionary measure and given a clean bill of health. The service later tweeted it was a "great ending" to the call. 

The nine-month-old baby was inside a Honda SUV stolen from this Mississauga, Ont., gas station Wednesday morning. (Michael Cole/CBC)

Fitzpatrick told CBC News that the incident is currently being investigated as a robbery and police have no reason to believe the perpetrator was seeking to take the baby.

"It appears at this point this was purely a crime of opportunity. As soon as the suspect realized there was a child in the vehicle, he abandoned it," she said. 

Fitzpatrick also said this is likely not a case of parental negligence, but "a mother who made a bad decision."

“Children should never be left unattended in a vehicle, even if it's just for that 30 seconds or one minute that you think you’re going to run into the store or in this case go into the gas station. It’s not worth the risk.”

Investigators have obtained security footage from the gas station's cameras and the mother has provided a full statement about what happened. 

Police said the person alleged to have taken the vehicle is male, and was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, but provided no other details. Anyone with potentially helpful information is asked to call 905-453-2121.

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