A baby boy who was in the back seat of his mother's SUV when it was stolen from a north Minneapolis home was found unharmed after two harrowing hours Saturday and reunited with his family, a police spokesman said.

John Elder said the theft happened at 12:41 p.m. Saturday after the 1-year-old's mother briefly went into a house in the 4200 block of N. Humboldt Avenue after strapping him into a car seat. When she returned, the vehicle was gone.

She called authorities, who issued an Amber Alert for the stolen vehicle, a white 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Elder said the vehicle was found around 2:35, idling in the parking lot of a Brooklyn Center church in the 5900 block of Brooklyn Boulevard. The little boy was "all smiles" when officers found him, Elder said.

The boy was unharmed, but he was taken to a hospital to be checked out as a precaution, Elder said.

Local police were tipped off to the vehicle's presence by a resident who had noticed it earlier.

"They saw the car there a little earlier and didn't give it a second thought and then when they saw the media on it and they saw the Amber Alert, they called," Elder said.

He said police have no suspect information, although the child's mother reported seeing a man in dark clothing walking near the house before the incident. The SUV has been towed to a police forensics lot, where it will be checked for clues, Elder said. Detectives will also review surveillance cameras from the area.

The city saw a surge of auto thefts last year, among an overall rise in crime. MPD data show such incidents rose to 3,904 in 2020 from 2,873 the year before.

Libor Jany • 612-673-4064