Beijing: A thief in northeast China has stolen a car which had a two-month-old baby in it, prompting over 8,000 Chinese policemen to launch a manhunt for the culprit.
The stolen car belonged to a local resident surnamed Xu and was stolen around 7 am (local time) yesterday in Changchun, capital of northeast China`s Jilin Province.
Xu parked the vehicle in front of the supermarket he runs and entered the store to turn on a stove, leaving his two-month-old baby in the back seat without shutting off the car`s engine.
Xu came out from the supermarket minutes later only to find that his car was stolen with the baby still inside. He called the police immediately.
"We won`t hold you accountable, only if you stop the car and ensure the safety of my child," Xu and his relatives implored via a local traffic radio broadcast.
The stolen car was found near a primary school in Yongfa Township in the city of Gongzhuling this morning, although the baby was not in the car, local police said.
An entrance guard, who reported to the police, said a man in his 30s, parked the car there yesterday and told him the car was his friend`s.
The man said he would return to drive away the car at night, but didn`t appear later.
According to reports from China Central Television (CCTV)`s Weibo account, the suspected man abandoned the car and took a minibus.
The driver of the minibus has been found, but the driver told the police that the man didn`t take a baby when he got on the minibus.
The license plate of the car and the clothes of the baby were found in a ditch beside a road, 500 metres away from the abandoned car.
The municipal public security bureau of Changchun has launched a city-wide hunt and dispatched more than 8,000 police to look for the baby on the streets and in residential communities and parks.
Local residents have volunteered to organise search parties to look for the missing baby. Large numbers of private car owners and cab drivers have also joined in the search, looking around the city and nearby villages for the missing child.
Neighboring provinces are aiding municipal police in the search as well.
Film celebrity Yao Chen has joined in the search efforts as well, using her microblog account to encourage more people to look for the child.