By: E&P Staff
A carrier for the Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn., who left her car running with her 8-year-old son asleep in the back seat, watched as the car was stolen while she delivered papers.
The woman awakened two persons in a house, where she called 911 at about 6 AM, July 29. Her own cell phone was in the car, where, unknown to her, her son was using it to call police.
The thief stopped around the corner and fled, apparently realizing he wasn’t alone in the car, according to a July 30 report in the Pioneer Press.
The county prosecutor’s office charged Michael J. Contreras, 22, of St. Paul, with false imprisonment and motor vehicle theft.
The woman told the paper her son ordinarily doesn’t accompany her, but no babysitter was available that day.
When police arrive, the woman said the papers were in the front of her car and her son was in the back, where he’d fallen asleep. She told police she saw another vehicle occupied by three men stop next to her car, and that one of the men got into her car and drove it away.
When the thief stopped the car and left, the boy called 911 on the cell phone the mother had left in the car. On crutches recovering from a broken leg, he got out and walked back around the corner to his mother.
The Pioneer Press reported that as the boy described the car thief, the police officer at the scene saw a man matching the description walking a block away. After the man’s arrest, the boy recognized him. “I remember that tattoo on his neck – that’s him!” the complaint quotes him saying.