WEST ORANGE — Police are reminding parents to not leave their children in a running vehicle unattended after a car theft nearly became a kidnapping.

A mom kept her engine on and left her kid in the car when she went into a store on Columbia Street shortly after noon on Wednesday, West Orange spokesman Joseph Fagan told New Jersey 101.5. Around 12:12 p.m., police received a call reporting a motor theft.

Officers arrived at the scene and found the car only a block away from the store. Only the child, who was unharmed, was still in the vehicle.

"The suspect abandoned the stolen vehicle upon realizing a child was in the car and fled the scene," Fagan said. The man was seen walking away in a "frantic manner" toward Watchung Avenue.

Witnesses described the suspect as a man with short hair standing five-feet-five-inches tall, according to Fagan. He was wearing a T-shirt with a graphic or logo on it.

The mother denied medical assistance for herself or the child at the scene.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

LOOK: Baby names that are illegal around the world

Stacker scoured hundreds of baby name databases and news releases to curate a list of baby names that are illegal somewhere in the world, along with explanations for why they’re banned.

15 sensational places to visit in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park

From amusement rides to all the boardwalk food and lots of water fun, Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park have endured as a family friendly spot for all ages.

Along the way, the Seaside Heights Boardwalk and Casino Pier have been struck with tragic disasters - such as fire, Superstorm Sandy and another fire. Both have proven their resiliency through rebuilding and expansion.

LOOK: These Are the 50 biggest retailers in America

Stacker compiled a list of the 50 biggest retailers in the country, using retail sales data from Kantar, provided by the National Retail Federation.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM