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Car with toddler inside hijacked from Colorado convenience store

A 3-year-old who was in the back seat of his dad’s car when it was hijacked from a convenience store in Colorado is back home after the toddler sought help from a stranger.

The father, Anthony Pettiford, was on his way home from a family gathering early Sunday when he stopped to buy some gum, The Gazette in Colorado Springs reported. Pettiford said he was chatting with friends next to the car when a man jumped into his white 1995 Chrysler New Yorker and took off.

A family friend told KKTV that she and her boyfriend tried chasing after the car, but couldn't catch up to it.


 "The only thing that we thought was, 'we have to catch him,'" Kim Rayford told the station.

As it turned out, the carjacker dropped the boy off a few blocks from the store, where he walked up to a woman’s door.

"Help me. I’m cold," the boy, wearing a diaper and a thin jacket in snowy weather, told Traci Gilbert.

Gilbert’s adult son drove the boy to find his home. During the search, he waved down a police officer who happened to be looking for the boy. The officer reunited the toddler with his father.

"He never shed a single tear the whole time," Gilbert told the Gazette.

Watch KTTV's report of the carjacking

The Associated Press cited Gilbert as saying she was amazed the toddler made it up the steps to her second-floor duplex carrying a plastic shopping bag containing soy milk, a sippy cup, two diapers, wipes and pajama bottoms.

Pettiford said he's proud his son. "I'm glad my son went to a good person," Pettiford told KKTV.

The boy’s name has not been released.

Colorado Springs police said the father is unlikely to be charged since he was standing next to the vehicle when it was carjacked.

The suspect and the New Yorker are still missing.

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