Police now say a short-lived auto theft was probably halted due to a 'passenger.'

Police have released information about a white Toyota Highlander compact SUV that was briefly stolen from the 1300 block of Shoshone Sunday evening around 6:20pm.

Apparently a father had left his 10-year-old son in the back seat, buckled in, watching movies on dad's phone. The engine was running. When dad came back, the SUV was gone. Apparently he'd only been away a short time.

He obviously called 911, an officer quickly found  the vehicle two blocks way in an alley off 14th and Irving.  Police had called the father's phone and the boy answered it. Authorities believe the would-be thieves saw the boy in the back, and decided kidnapping was not worth the car theft.

The boy was not hurt, in fact, he told officers he was not aware that anyone had moved the vehicle until the phone rang. No word if the dad is in hot water with police.

Pasco police are asking anyone with a security camera or video surveillance in those two areas (the theft and recovery) to either allow them to check that time frame, or to look themselves to see if a suspect shows up on film.