AURORA, Colo. — Aurora Police (APD) are searching for a suspect who stole a vehicle with a young child inside.
The 15-month-old boy has been found and is okay, according to police. The stolen SUV was also found.
Police are still looking for the person who took the brown RAV-4 from outside New Legacy Charter School at 2091 North Dayton St. just before 4:45 p.m. Friday.
APD said the driver of the SUV had stepped away for a moment to get something from inside the school when the suspect stole the vehicle.
That vehicle was found with the child inside about an hour later in the alleyway behind 9519 E. Colfax Ave, which is less than a mile away. Police said the boy was unharmed has been reunited with his parents.
>VIDEO: Employees from a nearby store rescue the child from the stolen SUV
Employees of the longtime family-owned business, Dulcería El Pachangon, were the ones who found the little boy.
Jose Ochoa was with his brother taking out the trash in a dumpster from behind the shop, facing the alley way.
"...we noticed a child crying. So we kind of peeked and it was in a car – it was a RAV 4," Ochoa recalled. "So my brother kind of took a closer look and we could see that it was red, sweating completely, you know not in a good condition.”
Ochoa says they did not know the car was stolen at the time, rather a situation where a boy was left in a hot car.
They were going to break open the window, Ochoa said, but they, along with their mother, Maria Castro, jammed a window open to take the child out.
“We were waiting to see if maybe the parents came and my brother went and knocked around – nothing happened and that’s when we called 911 and they were already kind of around here," Ochoa said.
They began trying to treat the child before it was taken by paramedics and police, they said.
The shock of finding the young boy was overwhelming for the family who ran the business.
“At first…kinda shock and crying…she was kinda in shock and crying – we all were," Ochoa said. “God works in weird ways."
The man who police think stole the SUV was seen running from that area. He is described by police as a Hispanic man who is about 20-25 years old and is 5-feet, 10-inches tall. He was wearing a black baseball cap with white writing, white shoes, black pants and a black shirt (pictured below).
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.
Metro Denver Crime Stoppers works by assigning a code to people who anonymously submit a tip. Information is shared with law enforcement, and Crime Stoppers is notified at the conclusion of the investigation.
From there, an awards committee reviews the information provided and, if the information leads to an arrest, the tipster will be notified. Rewards can be collected using the code numbers received when the tip was originally submitted.
> More information about Metro Denver Crime Stoppers can be found here.
> Additional Crime Stoppers bulletins can be found here.
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