Thief Swipes Running Minivan With Baby Inside as Dad Stops at Philly Corner Store: Police

A quick trip to a corner store turned into a terrifying ordeal for a Philadelphia sanitation worker after a thief stole his van while his baby boy was still inside.

Kareem Moore, 32, parked his 2013 White Town and Country on the 4800 block of Walnut Street around 7:50 a.m. Monday. He then walked into the 49 Stop Food Market corner store, leaving his 4-month-old child in the backseat of the running vehicle. 

While Moore was making a purchase, an unidentified teen, who was captured on store surveillance video, went inside the van and drove off with the baby still inside, according to police. Moore left the store and realized his vehicle and his baby were gone.

"It's like my soul just got sucked out of me," Moore said. "When I came outside I was holding my bags. And I just dropped them. It was like somebody had just hit the flush on the toilet and everything just flushed out of me." 

Moore borrowed a phone from a worker inside the store and called his cellphone. When no one answered, Moore sent a text.

"I just texted him, 'I don't care what you do with the vehicle. You can have all of it. I'll get that back. Just give me my son. Please,'" Moore said. "That was it." 

Moore said the thief then texted him back, letting him know he had dropped his son off outside along W. Penn Street near Greene Street in the city's Germantown section, about 8 miles away. Police were notified and officers found the baby at that location outside in the rain but unharmed.

A quick run into a West Philadelphia corner market turned into a terrifying ordeal for a dad when he finds his minivan gone with his 4-month-old baby inside.

Doctors at Saint Christopher's Hospital for Children checked out the baby as a precaution. The boy was released before noon.

Police continued to search for the van Monday. They later released surveillance video of the suspect, described as a thin, black male in his teens with a light complexion. He was last seen wearing tan pants, a camouflage vest with a black hooded sweatshirt underneath and black shoes. Police also say he was carrying a red umbrella.

If you have any information on his whereabouts, please call Philadelphia Police.

Moore told NBC10 he's a good father but knows he made a mistake that could have turned out much worse than it did. While his vehicle still hasn't been found, he's happy he has his son.

"I always put my nose on his nose," Moore said. "He gave me a couple little punches. I said, 'I know son.' Daddy will never make that mistake again." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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