TORONTO -- Police are crediting a watchful member of the public for averting tragedy in the case of a three-month old baby who was briefly the subject of an amber alert over the weekend.

Const. Victor Kwong says a worker taking a cigarette break from his job in the city's northwest end saw a vehicle parked nearby and took no notice at the time.

When he went for a second break three hours later, however, he recognized the vehicle as one flagged in the alert being broadcast across the province.

Kwong says the worker verified the license plate and called police, who found the baby sleeping unharmed in the back seat.

Police say they are gathering forensic evidence from the car that they hope will help identify the person responsible for stealing it while it was parked near a city flea market.

Police say the car was driven away while the baby's father had stepped out of the vehicle.