A man stole a car from Newport Village, Co Tipperary, unaware that a four-month-old baby boy was inside.

The police immediately launched a massive car and helicopter search for the stolen vehicle. The thief was arrested several hours later and the unharmed boy was reunited with his parents.

"He was completely unaware the infant was in the car. As soon as he realized the baby was there, he took the necessary steps to reunite him with his parents," a source close to the investigation told the Herald.

The 61-year-old Limerick man arrived to the village by bus and stole the car at 3pm when the owners stepped into a nearby store. The man later abandoned the car and was arrested in Birdhill, on the outskirts of Limerick.