Vehicle with child inside alleged target of theft in Stratford

Police in Stratford are looking for a suspect after a man entered an unattended SUV with a two-year-old child inside it, allegedly with intent to steal the vehicle.

Officers were called to Jeanne Sauve Catholic Elementary School at 8 Grange Street shortly after 9 a.m. Monday.

A witness reportedly contacted police about an alleged vehicle theft involving a child, though the suspect had fled and the child was unharmed when police were called.

Officials say the incident happened when the female owner of the vehicle was dropping off an older child at school and walked inside, leaving the SUV running and a two-year-old buckled in the car seat in the back.

A witness reportedly saw an unknown male enter the SUV, and believed the suspect was planning to steal the vehicle, before the suspect exited the driver's side and was picked up by a male in another vehicle.

When the owner returned, the witness told her what happened.

Police say they are presuming the suspect discovered the child in the back and decided not to steal the vehicle.

A search for the suspect involved was unsuccessful.

He is described as a white male, 30-40 years old with a heavier build. He was seen wearing a gray hoodie with the hood up and jogging pants and fled in a dark-coloured sedan driven by a second male.

Despite the positive outcome of the incident, police say it's important to locate the suspect in the hopes of preventing anything similar from happening again.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Stratford police at 519-271-4141 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Police are also reminding the public of the importance of not leaving children unattended in vehicles and not leaving a vehicle running with the keys inside, even you will only be gone for a few minutes.