A man faces kidnapping and auto theft charges in the theft of a truck in Lawndale that had a 2-year-old boy in the back seat, officials said Tuesday.
Christopher Smith, 21, of Inglewood is being held on $135,000 bail for allegedly driving away with the vehicle and its tiny passenger.
The truck was idling in a parking space near the corner of 173rd Street and Grevillea Avenue at 2:50 p.m.
The father left the truck's air conditioning and engine running while he got the diaper bag. But, when he came back outside, he saw someone driving away in his truck, officials said. He immediately called police and said that his son had been kidnapped.
Within minutes, deputies spotted the truck near 168th Street and Hawthorne Boulevard and pulled it over for a felony traffic stop. The driver stopped without incident and was arrested.
The toddler remained strapped in his car seat, unharmed but visibly distraught and crying.
"Deputies tried calming the little boy and immediately returned him into the arms of his frantic father," Schuerger said.