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GALVESTON, Texas— A man who stole a car left idling on the seawall returned and chastised the owners after realizing a child was inside, authorities said.

A Houston woman, 22, and her boyfriend took the child fishing with them early Tuesday in the 900 block of Seawall Boulevard, where a rock pier juts into the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston police said.

After taking all their equipment to the fishing spot, the woman decided the weather was too cold for her 2-year-old boy, Galveston police Capt. Jeff Heyse said.

“She went back to the car, seated the child inside and left the heater going, and then went to help her boyfriend with the fishing equipment,” Heyse said.

The woman planned to leave the child in the car only long enough to retrieve the fishing equipment, Heyse said.

Police suspect a homeless man was watching the couple and saw an opportunity to take the car. Police described the suspect as a black man dressed in black clothing.

The man got in the car and drove off. The car went through the light at 10th and Seawall, then turned around and came back, Heyse said.

When the man got out of the gray Mitsubishi Eclipse, the woman asked, “what the hell are you doing?,” Heyse said.

“The guy made comments about why would you leave your kid in the car,” Heyse said.

The woman called police at 5:15 a.m. but the suspect had fled, escaping capture, Heyse said.

“At 5:15 in the morning, the seawall is empty, and it feels like a safe place,” Heyse said.

The woman wasn’t cited for leaving her child unattended in the car.

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