ST. PETERSBURG — A 6-year-old boy was briefly abducted Tuesday morning after an unidentified man stole a car from a gas station parking lot with the child inside, police said.
The child was in the back seat of a brown Chevy Impala while his mother, Cortney Porter, 25, went inside Choice Food, 3401 Fifth Ave. S, to pay for gas. She left the car at the gas pumps with the keys in the ignition and the motor running, police said.
She told police she was away from the car for only a few minutes.
The thief took the car with the boy still inside, police said. Porter saw the car pulling away from the gas pumps and ran back inside the store and asked the clerks to call police, who got the call about 7:19 a.m. Porter was distraught and inconsolable, police said.
Nine minutes later, police found the vehicle in an alley in the 4600 block of Fifth Ave. S. The child was still in his seat and was unharmed.
The thief was not immediately found. Police described him as a black male, 16 to 18 years old, about 5 feet 5 and 130 pounds, wearing a black shirt and jeans.
Police released video and photo surveillance of a man in a black tank top who they think might know something about the incident.
"It has not yet been determined that this individual is a suspect in the abduction. However, he was seen outside the store at the time of the incident, and detectives would like to identify him for further interview," according to a news release.
Anyone with information about the incident was asked to contact police at (727) 893 7780, call the anonymous tip line at (727) 892-5000 or text a tip to (727) 420-8911.