updated 5/11/2007 11:31:29 AM ET 2007-05-11T15:31:29

An idling minivan with a 2-year-old inside was driven away from a store parking lot but then quickly returned by a thief who "has to have some kind of heart," the boy's mother said.

The theft had just been reported to police when the van with young Kevin Morris inside rolled back up to the corner grocery where the boy's frantic father, Joshua Madden, had left it to buy cigarettes Tuesday. The boy wasn't harmed.

After a foot chase, police arrested Tramell D. Woods, 23.

"I don't have any harsh feelings toward him because he brought my son back," Shametca Morris, 27, said as Kevin rode a tricycle in her front yard Thursday. She said the little boy showed no sign of trauma from the experience.

The boy's father said Kevin was alone in the van for less than a minute. When he discovered the vehicle was gone, he ran back inside the store and the owner called 911.

It was a nerve-racking five or six minutes, but then the green minivan pulled back into the parking lot, Madden said. He said he yelled at the driver, who ran away after saying he was just borrowing the vehicle.

Police arrested Woods a few minutes later on charges of auto theft, reckless endangerment and evading arrest. Chattanooga police spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Noorbergen said the boy's father wasn't likely to face any charges.

Woods said in a telephone interview from jail Thursday that police arrested the wrong person. "I didn't even take that van," he said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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