Charges after car stolen with baby aboard

Two men have been charged with a string of offences after a car was stolen in Melbourne with a toddler asleep in the back seat.

On Sunday afternoon the two-year-old boy was left alone in the back of the car with the engine running while his father ducked in to do some shopping in the beachside suburb of Chelsea.

Police allege a man climbed into the grey Volkswagen SUV and drove off.

The car stopped after about 350 metres and the child was left by the side of the road.

A short time later, a passerby found him wandering next to a busy road, distressed but unharmed.

The two men charged were taken into custody at a shopping centre in Frankston, in the city's southeast, on Tuesday afternoon.

A Narre Warren man, 18, was charged with more than 25 offences including obtaining property by deception, theft of a motor vehicle, possessing a drug of dependence as well as bail and driving offences.

A Clarinda man, 20, was charged with theft of motor vehicle, aggravated burglary, resisting police, bail and driving offences in relation to another matter.

The pair were set to face a magistrates' court on Wednesday.

The stolen car has not been found and the investigation is ongoing.