A baby was strapped into the backseat of an SUV that was stolen Sunday from a south St. Petersburg church, but the thieves stopped during the getaway to leave the child on the doorstep of a nearby house, police said.
The 10-month-old girl was unharmed and still sitting in her carseat.
Police on Tuesday released surveillance images showing one of the suspects running up to the house and leaving the baby. Investigators are asking for the public's help to identify him.
The 2013 Toyota Highlander was taken at 2:15 p.m. from the parking lot of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, 2580 12th Ave. S., as the parents of baby unloaded tables and chairs from the SUV, police said.
They were inside about five minutes, leaving the dark gray sport utility vehicle unlocked with the keys in the ignition and the baby secured in a carseat, police said.
During that time, two males entered the SUV and drove away, police said. About three minutes later, one of the males left the baby on the doorstep at 2022 11th Ave. S.
The homeowner arrived just after the teen fled, found the child and alerted police.
The Highlander was recovered about five hours later in a nearby parking lot at 735 22nd Ave. S.
Police said the suspect seen in surveillance images was a black teen with close-cut hair and wearing beige shorts and a black tank top.
Anyone with information was asked to call St. Petersburg police at (727) 893-7780 or Text-A-Tip to (727) 420-8911. To leave a confidential tip, call (727) 892-5000.