Distraught parents had to wait 45 minutes before they were told their baby, who was in the back seat of their stolen car, was found safe and well.
Gardaí are conducting forensic tests on the car and are gathering CCTV in a bid to identify the opportunistic criminal who took the car.
The man apparently happened to be in an estate in north Dublin when he spotted a stationary car with its engine running but with no driver, and sped away with it.
It is thought the owner may have momentarily left the car to go into their home when the theft occurred.
A 13-month-old baby was inside the car at the time, though gardaí suspect the thief was unaware of its presence and did not realise it until sometime after driving off.
The initial incident occurred at 7.30am in an estate in Baldoyle, north Dublin.
After the alarm was raised, all available garda units were dispatched to search for the vehicle.
Sources said 45 minutes passed before gardaí located the vehicle in a car park at 8.15am behind a building site in Clongriffin, some 5km away.
“It was a 45-minute wait, so it’s a long time,” said one garda source.
The source said the car would be examined for fingerprints and DNA and checked against records.
“We will harvest any CCTV in the relevant areas and do local inquiries to see if anyone saw the car or the driver,” said the source.
Witnesses are asked to ring Raheny Garda Station on 01-6664300.
Meanwhile, across the city, in Dalkey, Co Dublin, detectives have ruled out foul play in the death of a 35-year-old man, whose body was found in a private laneway. The man had suffered a puncture wound in his stomach. His body was found at 8.30am yesterday by a woman out walking.
The laneway leads to an apartment block just off Convent Road in the village.
Gardaí in Dun Laoghaire responded and sealed off the scene pending a technical examination and the arrival of the state pathologist.
Sources said they were keeping their options open but were investigating the possibility the man may have impaled himself while climbing over a gate with sharp railings that leads to the laneway.
The man was seen going down the lane at 1.30am and no one else was spotted on camera at that time.
The Technical Bureau was yesterday observed conducting tests and taking samples from the railings.
Anyone with information can contact Dun Laoghaire Garda Station on 01 6665000.
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