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The Associated Press

PUYALLUP – A Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman says a thief who stole a car with a toddler inside quickly abandoned both.

The car was found Tuesday about a dozen blocks from the Puyallup-area child care center where it was stolen. Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer says the 16-month-old child was unhurt.

Troyer says the child’s 27-year-old mother had left the car unlocked with the keys inside while she dropped a 3-year-old child at the day care.

The mother, Kayla Hill, told reporters, “I ran in maybe for 15 seconds. Someone peeled out in my car and took my daughter with them.” Hill said she does not usually leave her children in the car.

The younger child was asleep in a child seat in the car’s back seat.

Sheriff’s department dogs tracked the thief’s trail from the car to a bush nearby where he apparently waited for a ride. Neighbors say they saw a young man making a cellphone call. A red car soon appeared and gave him a ride.