Like many on Saturday, I looked down at the screen of my furiously buzzing phone to the unfortunate news that an Amber Alert had gone out for a two-year-old Denver boy, seeking a black KIA with the Colorado plate of BELLZ92. Luckily, hardly two hours after the alert went out this weekend, the boy was found inside the stolen vehicle.

According to Denver 7, the incident began around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday around the 900 block of South Quebec Street in Denver. At the time, Jayleel Jones, the toddler in question, was sleeping peacefully in his mother’s car after his sister’s cheerleading practice while the family made a quick pit stop to grab some drinks against the sweltering heat. His father was parked in a vehicle next to the one holding his sleeping son and saw an unknown person enter the still-running car and drive out of the parking lot.

Cmdr. Matt Clark of the Denver Police Department’s Major Crimes Division later reported that both parents attempted to stop the thief as they exited the lot, but were unsuccessful as the assailant drove out into the city.

As the Amber Alert went out across the area, police began to search the streets surrounding the store in a grid pattern, where one of them spotted the Jones’ KIA idling along Exposition Avenue near George Washington High School. Quickly locking down the location, police closed in on the vehicle with guns drawn, extricating Jayleel moments later.

“He [was] awake, alert, obviously scared,” reported Cmdr. Clark of the boy, “but happy to be back with his parents.”

Corra Smith, Jayleel’s mother, was at the scene where her nephew was found and took him to a waiting ambulance herself.

“I just give all the praise to the Lord right now, because without him, my nephew would not be found,” said DeJanay Smith, Jayleel’s aunt, regarding the incident.

As of yet, the suspect for the theft is still at large, but authorities report that police will be reviewing security cameras at nearby businesses and intersections for leads. The suspect is described as a bald, white man in his 20s or 30s in black shorts and a black hoodie and a grey shirt.

In the meantime, if you or anyone you know of has seen the man described as taking the car, police request that you contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You can also find the full Denver 7 story below.

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