A man accused of stealing a car with a sleeping toddler inside from an East Victoria Park driveway has appeared briefly in court.
Three-year-old Joseph was inside his parent’s car on December 2 when Ricky John Hard, 32, allegedly got in, rammed through his family’s locked gates and drove off.
The alleged incident sparked a frantic search involving dozens of police, including the air wing, and members of the public who had received a text message alert.
A woman who saw a Facebook post about the incident found the car with Joseph inside parked at units on Canning Highway about two hours after it was reported missing.
Police arrested Mr Hard earlier this month and charged him with stealing a car and endangering the life, health or safety of a person.
He appeared in Perth Magistrates Court by videolink from prison this morning, where his case was adjourned for legal advice.
The charges were read to Mr Hard and he confirmed he understood them.
The toddler’s parents had left him sleeping in the air-conditioned car while they took shopping bags and their other child inside their Westminster Street home.
After Mr Hart was arrested, South East Metropolitan District Supt Brad Sorrell said significant resources had been committed to the investigation.
He praised the use of social media to quickly spread information about the missing car and boy and said the child’s family were keen to put the ordeal behind them.
Mr Hard will appear in court again next month.