03/21/2016 11:19 EDT | Updated 03/21/2016 11:59 EDT

No Charges Against Father Whose Car Was Stolen With Baby Inside

The father was standing "a few feet away" from the vehicle when the suspect jumped in and drove off.

TORONTO — Police say they will not lay charges against a Toronto father who left his three-month-old baby in a car with the engine running only to have the vehicle stolen, triggering an amber alert.

Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook says the man was standing "a few feet away" from the vehicle when the suspect jumped in and drove off Sunday afternoon.

She says investigators have determined the father had not been negligent towards the child, who was found safe hours later.

Douglas-Cook says it is not automatically a criminal offence to leave a child in a vehicle, and police must look at the circumstances of each case.

In Quebec, meanwhile, children seven or under cannot be left alone in a vehicle.

Toronto police are crediting a watchful member of the public for averting tragedy in Sunday's case.

They say a worker taking a cigarette break from his job in the city's northwest end saw a car parked nearby and took no notice at the time.

When he went for a second break three hours later, however, he recognized the vehicle as one flagged in the alert being broadcast across the province.

Police say the worker verified the license plate and called police, who found the baby sleeping unharmed in the back seat.

Investigators are gathering forensic evidence from the car that they hope will help identify the person responsible for stealing it while it was parked near a city flea market.

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