A mother broke down in tears after being reunited with her baby who was driven off by a car thief
Leo Moulsdale, aged just seven weeks, was in the back of the family Subaru Impreza when the suspect jumped behind the wheel and sped away.
His frantic parents, Louise Waine and Thomas Moulsdale, both 24, frantically searched the area until a call came through 15 minutes later to tell them the car had been found with Leo inside unharmed - and he had slept through the drama.
The thief struck at around 7.35pm on Tuesday, targeting the family's car parked on Moor Road in Orrell, Wigan.
Mr Moulsdale, a plasterer, had left the car running as he nipped out to knock on a door about a job.
Seconds later the opportunist thief had jumped behind the wheel and began a three-point turn.
Mr Moulsdale dashed to the car pulling at the passenger door shouting: "My baby is in there! My baby is in there!" but the car sped off dragging him along the street until he could hold on no longer.
He jumped in a friend's van, and called police and his partner to break the news.
Hairdresser Ms Waine said: "He screamed down the phone 'The car has been stolen and Leo is in the back'. He told me he was shouting to him that his baby was in there and kept saying to me 'I'm sorry I'm sorry', he was crying."
Within minutes both parents and a large group of friends were searching the local area.
The boy's mother said: "It was like I was in a movie, I felt paralysed and panicky. To me this wasn't real, this wasn't happening to me.
"I just told my friend to drive I didn't know where or in which direction, it was all a blur. We just set off frantic and looking around for the car.
"My head was just spinning, I just wanted my baby back. It was cold and dark and icy and I thought that I may never see him again. I kept thinking surely he would not hurt a baby, surely not, but I just didn't know."
Around 15 minutes later, Merseyside Police was informed by an anonymous call from a telephone box of a baby being left in an abandoned car close to the Billinge Arms pub on Maine Street, Billinge, three miles away.
"When I got there I just ran over to the car without my shoes and took him out of the seat and cuddled him. I couldn't believe it, I was just so thankful he had been found and it hadn't been too long.
"He had slept through the whole thing, he hadn't even blinked an eyelid. I was just so glad he didn't have to go through it all.
"I didn't want to let go of Leo, I held him in my arms all night and cuddled him and gave him lots of kisses, I didn't want to let him out of my sight."
She added: "Leo is my everything, I can't even begin to imagine what could have happened. I was trying to keep myself together when I picked him up and cuddled him but broke down in tears."
Detective Constable Brendan Greally, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "We can only imagine the distress that the parents of this young baby must have gone through after their son was taken from them in this manner.
"We are urging anyone who saw the incident, or who witnessed the car being abandoned in Billinge to call police."
The thief was a white man in his 20s, wearing a dark coloured bob hat, a dark hooded top and lighter coloured trousers or tracksuit bottoms.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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