A man who stole a car in Palm Beach, US, found himself in a much worse situation than the one he'd planned when he realised he'd driven off with a sleeping 5-month-old baby in the backseat.

The man stole the car, which had been left unattended and with the engine running at a petrol station, and drove about 10km before realising there was a baby inside.

Once he realised he wasn't alone, the man panicked and pulled into another petrol station, took the baby out in the capsule and took it inside the store.

CCTV footage from the petrol station shows the man taking the baby in.

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He reportedly shouted "take the baby, take the baby!" as he approached the store staff.

Mother and baby were reunited less than an hour later.