Man steals car left running with 3-year-old child inside, North Carolina police say

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A woman left her 3-year-old child inside a running vehicle while she went inside a convenience store, but when she came out the child and the vehicle were gone, police in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, say.

The woman went into a Sheetz convenience store in Winston-Salem at around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, according to a news release from the Winston-Salem Police Department.

She realized her 2004 Toyota Highlander had been stolen when she returned to the parking lot.

Winston-Salem police put out a broadcast asking people to be on the lookout for the missing SUV and child, according to the department. About 45 minutes after the original broadcast, officers received a report of a child abandoned in a car seat in Thomasville, about 20 miles southeast of Winston-Salem.

The mother was reunited with her child, who was unharmed, according to police.

At around 11 p.m., officers found the woman’s vehicle and arrested the driver, later identified as 49-year-old Raymond Henry Oneal, the police statement says. Oneal resisted arrest and assaulted a deputy, police say.

Oneal faces charges of first-degree kidnapping and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Winston-Salem is about 100 miles west of Raleigh.

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