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Keyless ignition may have allowed car thief to steal vehicle with 10-month-old inside, police say

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(KCPQ photo)

(KCPQ photo)

SEATTLE — A man who is suspected of stealing a SUV with a 10-month-old baby inside was able to start the car because of a keyless ignition start button that engaged while the baby’s dad was standing outside the car just a few feet away with the keys in his pocket, Seattle police said.

The suspect was even aware the the baby was in the SUV — as the father pleaded with him not to take the car — but he drove off anyway, a Seattle police report alleges.

According to Seattle police, the father of the 10-month-old girl pulled into the SeaMart store in the 1500 block of SW Holden Street Wednsday afternoon to buy a cigar.

He parked the car, left his girl in the back seat, pocketed his keys and stepped toward the store, police said.

The father made it to the store’s counter and was asking for cigars when he spotted the suspect open the  car door and hop in.

The father sprinted back to the the car and looked at the man. He screamed that his baby was in the backseat, and pleaded with the suspect not to take off.

But because the father had the keys to the keyless ignition in his pocket, police said, the suspect was able to start the SUV and drive off.

“(The suspect) looked directly at (the victim) as he yelled but stole the car anyhow,” Seattle police wrote in the report.

The suspect abandoned the car and baby a short distance down the road. He was later spotted in a Mexican restaurant near the corner of 17th Avenue SW and SW Roxbury Street and arrested.

The suspect was already wanted on a felony warrant for taking a car without permission, Seattle police said.  He was booked into King County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping and auto theft.

A quick glance of Keyless ignition — otherwise known as a Smart key or Keyless Go– claim a vehicle should not be able to start without the key inside the car. However, a Washington State Patrol trooper told Q13 FOX News said it is possible for a keyless ignition to activate the start button from outside the car.

A Q13 FOX staffer has even tried to start their car while standing outside a keyless ignition vehicle, but was not able to.

Seattle police are investigating the incident.


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