Portland police are seeking witnesses who may have seen an SUV being stolen on Cumberland Avenue on Saturday night and later abandoned on Marginal Way – all while a child was inside.

Police responded to a call around 5:20 p.m. Saturday that a Ford Explorer had been stolen while parked near New York Fried Chicken at 111 Cumberland Ave., police said in a written release Monday night.

“The driver of the vehicle reported that he had parked his vehicle near New York Fried Chicken to pick up food from the restaurant while his 3-year-old brother was asleep in the back in a children’s car seat,” said David Singer, department spokesperson.

The SUV had been left running and has a keyless push-start ignition, which doesn’t require a key to operate the vehicle.

While officers were at the scene with the driver, other officers within minutes located the stolen vehicle – with the child still inside – in the parking lot of Black Bear Medical at 275 Marginal Way, Singer said.

An officer woke the child, who was not injured, and stayed until he could be reunited with his family.

“Realizing the gravity of the situation, our dispatchers dedicated 10 officers and two supervisors to this emergency, resulting in a quick and safe resolution,” said Police Chief Heath Gorham.

Whoever stole the vehicle hasn’t been found and investigators continue to review evidence.

Anyone who may have witnessed these events is asked to call call (207) 874-8575.

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