NC delivery driver left 1-year-old inside running car that was stolen. Child found.

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Police have launched a kidnapping investigation after they say a car with a 1-year-old boy inside was stolen Friday night while it was being used by the child’s mother to make deliveries for an online food service.

The child was eventually found unharmed, but police are looking for the suspect who stole the car.

According to Southern Pines police, a female driver for the DoorDash on-demand food delivery service arrived at 9:05 p.m. at the Timberlane Apartments in the 100 block of Murray Hill Road. The driver left the car running and unlocked, with her child inside, while she made the delivery, according to a press release.

Police said the suspect got into the car and drove away. Police put out an alert for the car, which was found at 10:15 p.m. parked on South Gaines Street. The child was unharmed and reunited with his mother.

Anyone with information about the case can call the Southern Pines Police Department at 910-692-7031, or the Southern Pines Police Department’s Crime Tip Line at 910-693-4110. Information can be left anonymously.

The initial police report sparked heated debate on Facebook with people complaining about both the suspect and the driver. But some commenters defended the mother as well.

T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.