Land Rover taken in Benfleet with boy asleep inside

A 4x4 vehicle was taken from a street in Essex while a two-year-old boy slept on the back seat, police have said.

The silver Land Rover Freelander was taken in Kents Hill Road North, Benfleet, at 14:40 GMT on Friday.

A 32-year-old woman, the driver, had left the engine running while she delivered a package when a man climbed inside the vehicle and drove off.

The vehicle was recovered a short time later in nearby Barncombe Close with the boy still asleep in the back.

Police said the suspect left the scene and had not been found despite a police helicopter helping to search for him.

Sgt Rob Chapman, of Essex Police, said: "The suspect laughed at the victim before jumping in the vehicle and driving off.

"There were various people in the street at the time of the incident.

"However, due to the welfare of the child being our primary concern, we were unable to obtain details of all witnesses."

Police described the suspect as white, in his early 20s, and being clean-shaven.

He was wearing a black top with a light blue hood and dark trousers or tracksuit bottoms.

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