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Ada thief returns toddler after stealing pickup truck

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 10:51 PM CDT
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PONOTOC COUNTY, Oklahoma (KXII) - Ada police detectives are looking for a man who they said stole a pick up truck last week, and drove away with a 4-year-old boy sleeping in the back seat.

It happened just before 4 p.m. Friday evening, outside the the Orscheln Home and Farm Store.

Brad Cochran said he and his son Ethan drove to the store, but when they got there, Ethan had fallen asleep.

“I left him in there sleeping with the heater on. I can only assume this guy was watching me as I got out” Cochran said.

What happened next was every parents' worst nightmare.

Cochran said a stranger stole their truck with baby Ethan still sleeping inside.

He called the police.

“I’m never going to see my child again. I thought he was gone” Cochran said.

Surveillance footage at a Shell Gas Station, less than a mile away, picked up something unusual.

The video shows a man with dark hair, and dark clothing parking the stolen truck.

He then gets out, and carries Ethan in his arms towards the store, where he leaves him.

“With everything going on in the world today, he could have done something much worse but, he took him to get safety.” said Ethan’s mother, Stephanie.

Police were able to reunite the family.

They said Ethan was unharmed, but Stephanie said Ethan now suffers from trauma.

“Something will trigger him, he’ll start going ‘put me down, where’s my mommy? daddy? Put me down, put me down.’ Cochran said.

The family told News 12, they’re just happy to have Ethan home.

“You don’t expect it to happen," Cochran said. "You know, you hear about these things happening in bigger cities and you think, we’re in a smaller town, it’s safe.”

“Don’t leave your children in the car. That was a very very, irresponsible mistake on our part. It should have not happened. Lock your vehicles. Don’t give them the opportunity to- that’s exactly what happened. He was given the opportunity. And be aware of your surroundings, because it can happen. Just like that.” said Stephanie.

As for the truck, Ada police detectives are still looking for it and the man who stole it.

Police said earlier that same day, they believe the same man stole another car, this one from the Walmart in town.

They’re looking for a black, 1997 Ford F-150 pick up, with a silver tint on the back glass.

Anyone with information should call the Ada police department, at 580-332-4466 or call Crime Stoppers at 580-33-CATCH.

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