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Stolen car with sleeping toddler inside recovered; suspect sought

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A search is underway for the suspect who stole a car at a gas station Wednesday night in north Minneapolis with a sleeping toddler inside, MPR News reports.

Minneapolis police say Roland Buckner's car was recovered about 25 minutes after it was stolen, with his 23-month-old son Roland Jr. still safe inside.

"The child was sleeping when the father got out of the car," Police Cmdr. Bruce Folkens told MPR News. "Thank God when the cops found the car, he was still sleeping, nestled into his car seat. So for him, it was just a nice night's sleep."

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According to KSTP, Buckner was about 10 feet away from his car while filling it with gas about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Old Colony gas station on North 16th Avenue and North Washington Avenue. He told the station he was talking to an acquaintance when the thief jumped into the car, which was already running with the keys in the ignition.

Buckner reportedly chased his stolen car in another vehicle, but lost it on the interstate. His cellphone was in the stolen car however, and police were able to use it to track the vehicle.

The car was reportedly found behind a vacant house about a mile-and-a-half north of the gas station on the 2700 block of Colfax Ave. North, with Buckner's son safe inside.

“He was sleeping,” Buckner told WCCO. “He didn’t see anything.”

Folkens tells MPR News the suspect could face both auto theft and kidnapping charges if found. There is currently no description of the suspect.

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