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Carjacker ran from his crime — then circled back for his 2-year-old, Tennessee cops say

Bradley Lee, 25, was trying to steal a car in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Monday when he got scared away by the owner — but he had to come back to retrieve his toddler son, who he left sleeping in back, deputies said.
Bradley Lee, 25, was trying to steal a car in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Monday when he got scared away by the owner — but he had to come back to retrieve his toddler son, who he left sleeping in back, deputies said. Knox County Sheriff's Office

There are no parent of the year awards in this father’s future.

Bradley Lee, 25, was driving with his 2-year-old son through Knoxville, Tennessee, on Monday when his pickup ran out of gas around 6 a.m. — so he abandoned the truck, and tried stealing a car that was parked in a driveway, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Lee was removing the vehicle’s ignition switch when the car’s owner spotted him and started yelling, deputies said. That’s when Lee allegedly ran away from the crime scene.

But Lee had left behind something rather important: His 2-year-old child, who was sleeping in the back seat of the car he’d tried to steal, the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities soon found Lee’s abandoned truck, and figured out he was the owner. There was a gun that had been stolen in Florida in the vehicle as well, deputies said.

Arresting Lee wasn’t much of a challenge. He came back to the scene hours later to check on his child, deputies said.

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Lee was arrested on charges of attempted theft, auto burglary, vandalism and possession of a handgun, the sheriff’s office said. He is a convicted felon, and more charges are pending.

Lee’s bond has been set at $13,000, deputies said.

Authorities said the Department of Children’s Services is also investigating the case.

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