Police in Oregon are looking for a suspect who takes cars and gives parenting advice, after he allegedly stole an SUV and turned around to scold its owner over the child she left in the back seat.
The bizarre episode happened in Beaverton, Ore., on Saturday, according to local police.
Authorities say the mother parked her SUV at a grocery store and dashed inside, leaving the vehicle unlocked and idling out front.
The unidentified thief waited a few minutes, then hopped in the car and drove away, a store clerk told police.
But he didn’t go far. The suspect realized during his getaway that there was a four-year-old child in the backseat.
The suspect turned around and found the woman at the grocery store, then handed over the child and ripped her for her parenting skills.
“He actually lectured the mother for leaving the child in the car and threatened to call the police on her,” Beaverton police Officer Matt Henderson said.
The officer also defended the child’s mother, saying she was within sight and sound of the child, but he also highlighted the episode as a “good reminder to take extra precaution” with children.
“Obviously, we’re thankful he brought the little one back and had the decency to do that,” Henderson said.
The car thief sped away with the vehicle after returning the child. The SUV was found a few hours later.
Authorities are still looking for the suspect, who is described as a man in his 20s or 30s with dark brown or black braided hair. He was also wearing a multi-coloured mask.
Anyone who knows the thief and self-styled parenting expert is asked to contact police.
—With files from The Associated Press
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