Colorado 3-year-old safe after father's car was stolen with toddler inside

Anthony Pettiford's 3-year old son was in the back seat when Pettiford's car was stolen in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sunday, April 15, 2012. The boy was later found unharmed.
CBS Denver

(CBS/AP) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A 3-year-old boy is safe after his father's car was stolen at a convenience store with the child in the back seat.

CBS Denver reports the boy's father, Anthony Pettiford, stopped at a 7-Eleven Sunday morning. Pettiford said he got out of the car to talk to some friends and left the car running. Thieves then jumped into the white Chrysler New Yorker Sedan and drove off with his son inside.

The carjackers dropped the boy in the middle of a street a short time later.

The Gazette reports that around 2:15 a.m. the 3-year-old walked up to a house in the neighborhood and knocked on the door. "Help me, I'm cold," the toddler told Traci Gilbert, who answered the door.

Gilbert said the boy was covered in snow and sleet, left out in the cold about four blocks away by the thieves. 

According to the paper, the thief gave the toddler a plastic bag that held a container of soy milk, a sippy cup, two diapers, wipes, and pajama bottoms.

The boy climbed the 14 steps up to Gilbert's second-story apartment and woke her from sleep.

"He wasn't crying. He never shed a single tear the whole time," Gilbert said. The boy was covered in snow, but wasn't injured or overly cold. She figured that he couldn't have been outside long. He said he wanted his daddy and kept saying that "he told me I had to leave."

Gilbert's adult son took the boy in his car to find his home. Gilbert said the boy pointed to a house a few blocks away, but the lights were off inside, so her son waved down a police officer who happened to be looking for the boy. The officer took the boy back to his father.

The boy's father says he's simply glad his son is ok.

"I'm just blessed and thankful that I got my son back and that's the good thing," Pettiford said. "I was yelling for my kid, and for them to stop, and I guess they got scared when they went down the road and saw him in there and dropped him off."

Pettiford may face charges, police said.  Authorities are still searching for the car and the carjackers.

Police are asking that anyone who sees the vehicle - a 1995 white Chrysler New Yorker with the license plate 083-VGE is asked to call police at 444-7000.