The terrifying moment a father realises an alleged thief has taken his car with his son inside has been caught on camera.
The four-year-old boy was asleep in the family’s car when an opportunistic stranger jumped in and drove off in Craigieburn, in Melbourne’s north, about 10pm (local time) on Monday.
Father Vaneet Bansal had left his son to sleep as he visited his Indian restaurant just metres away.
“I looked and my car was missing and I realised it got stolen,” he revealed.
CCTV shows the moment he and employees realise the car is gone before frantically pursuing the vehicle.
“I quickly jumped within seconds and followed the guy, but I missed him,” he said.
Unknowing to Mr Bansal, another car pulled up beside his and a man jumped into the driver’s seat, with son Rhonin in the back.
“I was just thinking of the future and scared,” Mr Bansal recalled.
The car was dumped less than two kilometres away in the middle of an intersection with Rhonin still strapped into the backseat just minutes later.
A witness said the child was “very quiet” when found due to either being calm or shocked from the experience.
The police searched for the offenders in the air and on the ground but they could not be found.
Rhonin was taken from the abandoned car by a police officer and reunited with his very relieved mother and father.
His parents say their son was completely unaware of what had happened.
“Yeah he’s fine, he doesn’t even know what happened. He was sleeping,” Mr Bansal said.
Police investigations are ongoing and are appealing for dashcam footage from anyone who may have been travelling in the area at the time.
The man was last seen jumping into a light-coloured hatchback on Cimberwood Drive about 10.20pm.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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