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Man's car stolen with son still inside, they're urging others not to leave keys in vehicles

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Posted at 10:39 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 22:39:45-05

A New York father and his son are still shocked after a simple trip to the store turned into a dramatic car-jacking, with the son still inside the vehicle.

As WABC reported, police were still searching for the suspect after a man reportedly carjacked the vehicle with the 11-year-old inside in East Harlem. The boy's father, David Perez, says he left his son inside of the parked SUV while he went inside of a local food market on Sunday.

Surveillance footage shows the suspect walking up to the car, opening the door, getting in, and driving away with the man's son Daniel still sitting in the front seat.

Perez said, "He sent me a text saying, 'Dad, help,' and that just took me, it made it real."

His son Daniel said the suspect was driving at a high rate of speed on the highway with him in the car, and crashed into multiple other vehicles.

As WABC reported, the suspect released the boy from the car about 20 minutes after it was first stolen.

"Luckily I got a video call from my son," Perez said. "I picked up, and my son was outside the car."

"I'm still kind of traumatized," Daniel said.

The two are urging others to not leave their keys in their car, to lock their vehicles, and consider getting their children a smartphone for emergencies.