27/02/2009

Baby Dumped On Pavement By Car Thief

A car thief dumped a baby on the side of the road after realising the vehicle he had taken had a child inside.

The four-month-old was in the back of a silver Lexus, which was stolen by a man wearing a police jacket in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on Thursday evening.

Police said the boy was returned, still in his car seat, by a man in a Nissan Micra around 30 minutes later.

It is thought he noticed the four-month-old tot and switched cars, taking the baby with him.

He then drove back to a street near the woman's home and dumped the baby on a pavement before speeding off. By then the distraught mum had called police, who launched a hunt.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said the parents "horrendous ordeal" began at 5.15pm, when the mother was approached by a man in her car on Hypatia Street.

The woman began to get out of the vehicle, as she thought the man approaching her was a police officer.

She was then pulled out of the way. While she managed to pull her two-year-old son out of the Lexus, she could not reach her baby.

Det Con Graham Clare said: "This was a horrendous ordeal for the family who were left absolutely distraught that their baby was taken from them.

"Fortunately he was returned safe and well but the time he was missing must have felt like an eternity for his parents."

Police are aware the Lexus was involved in a hit-and-run collision on Bury Road, outside the Black Horse Pub, about 15 minutes later.

No one was injured in the incident, but the woman's car is yet to be recovered.

Police were alerted to the Micra and a short time later a patrol officer spotted it turning into Thicketford Road, towards Winchester Way.

By the time the officer turned his car around to follow the car, he found it had been in collision with a Citroen Xsara and a Volkswagen Passat.

The driver and two other people were injured in the collision.

A 39-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of kidnap and theft, the GMP confirmed.

He is currently being treated at hospital for leg and neck injuries.

(JM/BMcC)

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