Renton officers got their patrol vehicle stolen Thursday afternoon while stopping to question a man they thought was a potential car thief suspect, police said.

Officers spotted the man at a local car dealership in the 500 block of Rainier Avenue South around 1:30 p.m., according to a statement from the Renton Police Department. They parked nearby and got out of their patrol vehicles to attempt to talk to the man, who police said is in his 30s, but he declined and walked away, the statement said. 

As the officers were heading back to their cars, a passerby called 911 to report the same man had reached through an open window of one of the patrol vehicles, unlocked the door and drove away, police said. 

The statement noted that the vehicle had been locked and running, “as is common practice for officers in the event of a priority incident.”

Seattle police found the stolen patrol car about 30 minutes later in the 80 block of South Washington Street near Pioneer Square, the statement said. 

They arrested the man a couple blocks away on suspicion of felony theft. 

The vehicle wasn’t damaged during the incident, and no injuries were reported. 

No further information was immediately available.