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Police say car thief was startled to find 5-year-old in back seat

Feb. 4, 2013

A stolen car was found near Wauwatosa Avenue and Center Street on Jan. 30, abandoned not far from where it had been taken. The 5-year-old boy who had been in the backseat was still in the vehicle.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

An officer saw a man fitting the suspect's description walking along 75th Street, breathing heavily. When the officer approached, the man looked around nervously and said he had just gotten off the bus. The officer, noting the proximity to the stolen car and the man's heavy breathing, handcuffed him and put him in the back of his squad.

"What happened?" the officer asked multiple times, adding that someone had taken a car and it was a good thing it had been found and no one was hurt. He added that the car thief must have gotten scared and run away because there was a child in the back. Hesitant at first, the man finally said that "something like that" happened.

"That's why I got out," the 19-year-old Milwaukee said after the officer asked if he knew the child was in the back before he took the car.

Since the incident happened in Milwaukee, the man was turned over to Milwaukee police for further questioning.

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