A man who heroically helped save the life of an autistic boy had his car stolen by gutless thieves.
Melbourne man Aaron McKirdy was driving along when he saw the autistic boy running into oncoming traffic.
Reacting swiftly, he jumped out of his ute and ran to save the boy from getting hit.
"He was running quite erratically…and then he was smack-bang in the middle of the road…I thought he was going to die. I thought he was going to get hit by a car," he told 9 News.
"I slowed down, flashed my lights and rolled my windows down and tried to communicate with him.
"I said 'Hey mate, do you want to come off to the side of the road and just walk with me for a minute', and calm him down."
However, while McKirdy was attending to the boy, two thieves jumped in his brand new ute and drove off - with his wallet, keys and laptop inside.
Around $2000 was spent by thieves on McKirdy's credit card during their getaway.
Despite having his car swiped, father-of-two said he would "absolutely do it again".
"The car doesn't mean anything to me," he told reporters.
"What was more important to me was that that kid didn't get hit by a car."
The father's actions haven't gone unnoticed by the teenager's family and police, however.
Victoria Police Detective Senior Constable Brett Thomas said the father-of-two should be "commended" for helping the boy.
Police say the car has not been found.
Three men were arrested over the incident but two were released without charge.
A 51-year-old North Melbourne has been charged with two counts of motor vehicle theft and four counts of obtaining property by deception.
He will face Melbourne Magistrate's Court on April 12.
"He put his own life at risk going through oncoming traffic."