A mother is thankful to have her 2-year-old back in her arms after her truck was stolen Thursday morning in Lake Worth with her baby boy inside.
"I put him in and I always unlock it so my driver’s door will be open when I come back,” said Ashley Walton as she described her frantic morning.
One moment, her truck was parked outside of her home with 2-year-old Mason Walton inside. The next moment, it was gone.
While mom was inside the house, a thief entered their backyard where the pickup was parked with the engine running and Mason inside strapped in his car seat. When Ashley returned, the vehicle was gone.
"I was panicking. I could barely breathe,” Ashley said.
She screamed for her husband Charles who jumped into their other vehicle and left to look for the thief. Ashley stayed behind and called 911.
“I was just kind of shaking,” Ashley recalled. “I was everywhere just trying to do something. I was just trying to figure it out."
Within a few minutes, police located the pickup truck at a Shell gas station at West Loop 820 near their home. A clerk told FOX 4 the suspect came inside and purchased $5 worth of gas. He was about to walk out of the store when police approached him. However, Mason and the car seat were no longer in the truck.
The toddler was discovered still inside his car seat just sitting in a field a couple of blocks from the gas station. A woman out for a walk with her son spotted him crying.
“She told me, ‘I know he couldn't have been here for more than five minutes because they had literally just walked the field and no one was there,’” said Ashley. “When they came back, the little boy heard my son yelling for mommy. That's when they ran over there.”
Lake Worth police say the suspect is a 16-year-old boy and was taken into custody at the gas station.