MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A child has been found safe after carjackers stole his father’s vehicle while he was inside Tuesday night.
The carjacking happened at midnight at the Dodge’s Chicken on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Whitehaven when the father left his 2014 Dodge Dart running while he went inside the store.
The 4-year-old was left in the back seat, police say.
The father said an unknown man got inside the car and sped away going southbound on Elvis Presley. The Dodge was later abandoned about a mile away in front of 3771 Graceland. The boy was still inside the vehicle.
WREG spoke to the boy’s mother who said her son, who she calls RJ, is from Oklahoma and was in Memphis visiting his father for the summer. She said it was his first night here.
Police say the boy called his mom on his dad’s phone while in the car with the suspect.
“He called and he kept telling me that some dude was driving his daddy’s car,” said the mother, who didn’t want to be identified.
The suspect took the phone and told the mom he was going to return the boy to his father.
“The dude got on the phone and was like ‘Um, somebody stole the car. I’m going to take him back to his daddy,'” she said.
She says the kidnapper hit her son in the head and hung up the phone. So, she called back, and RJ answered.
“He told me that the dude in the blue shirt had his daddy’s car. I said, ‘What else is he wearing?’ He said, ‘a black mask,'” she said.
The suspect eventually got out of the car and left the boy. She said her son couldn’t figure out where he was and could only see houses.
She instructed her son to start honking the horn and flashing the lights to help the police find him.
The boy was found in the abandoned car and was returned to his father. Documents show the father was given a citation for having an unattended vehicle.
The abandoned car remained at the scene on Graceland while detectives gathered more information. Police have not released any information on the suspect.