It all started just before 11 a.m. Sunday in the 2400 block of North Lowell on the city's Northwest Side and ended just after 1 p.m. when the child was found in the SUV in an alley behind the 4700 block of West Belden.
A news conference was held Sunday evening during which the boy's father said he had never left his car running with his son inside before. He said after this incident, he will never do it again.
Neighborhood residents were hoping for the safe return. Meanwhile, video surveillance might help lead authorities to the man responsible for stealing the vehicle.
"We did not know what to do. He went outside to pay the bills, and when he came back out, he saw someone inside of the car taking away his young son," said Jennie Hernandez, a neighborhood resident.
An alert was issued just as residents said they had found the boy.
"I was concerned. I tried to be a 'Good Samaritan,'" neighbor Juan LaSalle said.
The boy was taken to an area hospital after the incident and found to be okay.
Investigators also added that it is not likely that the father will face any charges.