A three-year-old boy was found by police in the backseat of a car Tuesday, hours after the vehicle had been stolen in a moshav near the southern city of Kiryat Malachi. The toddler was returned to his parents unharmed.

The vehicle was stolen after the boy’s father left the car running on a street in his town and stepped out to a neighbor’s house.

Following the theft, Southern District Police set up checkpoints in the area, and large police forces, including a helicopter, were deployed throughout the area.

The car was discovered abandoned at the side of the road with the toddler safe inside.

“I stood excited at the sight of the child being returned to his mother,” Kiryat Malachi police commander Sammy Marciano said.

Police said they were continuing the search for the suspected thief, who fled the scene by foot.