CICERO, Ill. (WLS) --A man stole an SUV with an 18-month-old child inside in west suburban Cicero, police said.
The toddler's mother was dropping another child off at Liberty Elementary School near West Roosevelt Road and South Cicero Avenue around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said.
She double-parked her Dodge Durango near the school and left it running with the toddler strapped into the back seat. Police said that's when a man jumped into the Durango and drove away.
The woman flagged down a police officer and gave a description of her SUV. A short time later, officers found the Durango in the 2100-block of South Kildare Avenue. The child was still inside.
Paramedics examined the child, who was reunited them with their mother.
Police are still searching for the suspect.
"She was very relieved when she was reunited with her child," said Superintendent Jerry Chlada, Cicero police. "Our officers immediately began to search the area. Luckily in about ten to 15 minutes, we were able to find the vehicle in Chicago, a few blocks outside of Cicero."
School district 99 is sending a letter home to parents about the incident.
"I would like to remind parents please never leave your children unattended and don't leave your car running. I know it is cold out there. I know it's an inconvenience, but quite honestly, the safety of our children is got to be our priority," said Superintendent Rudy Hernandez.
A lesson Liberty Elementary parents are taking to heart after the close call.
"It only takes one second, someone jacks your car and takes off," said parent Daniel Becerra.
"If it was me, I wouldn't leave them. If it is cold or something, I would just take them with me instead of leaving him in the car," said parent Maria Martinez.