FAIRFIELD (AP) — An 8-year-old boy snoozing in the backseat of his family’s running car slept through his brief kidnapping Monday after the vehicle was stolen in front of his California home, his parents said.
Brock Guzman was found safe about 2 miles away in the abandoned car following an hours-long search. A thief likely happened upon the 2001 Toyota Corolla when the boy’s father left it briefly unattended, police said.
Paul Guzman, the boy’s father, had placed the sleeping boy in the Corolla around 4:45 a.m., started the engine and went back into the house in Fairfield to get some belongings and his older son, who attends school 40 miles away in Napa.
When the father went back outside, the car was gone and an unfamiliar bicycle lay nearby. He hopped into another family vehicle and sped off in search of the Corolla. The boy’s mother frantically called 911, and authorities issued an Amber Alert.
“I was warming up the car for my wife and kids while she was putting her shoes on. It was 30 seconds and the car was gone,” Paul Guzman said.
Less than four hours later, a resident called police and said the car was parked in the neighborhood. When officers approached it, the thief was gone and Brock was still asleep. He was not injured.
Paul Guzman said he was told by his son that the thief was surprised to see the boy in the car.
“He was asleep in the car and when he woke up, the guy said he didn’t know he was in the car,” the father said. “He pulled over, got out of the car and my boy went back to sleep.”
Suzanne Guzman, the boy’s mother, said the experience was overwhelming and the family is relieved and happy to have the boy home.
“It was amazing. I was just completely overcome with goose-bumps. I just wanted to squeeze him. I probably hurt him a little, but he’s doing well,” Suzanne Guzman said.
Police don’t have a description of the suspect and say it appears the thief didn’t know the child was sleeping in the backseat.
“At this point, we are investigating this as a crime of opportunity,” Fairfield police Officer Kathryn McCormick said.