A Vancouver father went into protective- dad mode when he found a stranger rummaging through his vehicle.

His wife, who doesn't want to be identified, told CTV News Vancouver her husband was going in and out of their home in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood when the surprise run-in with the suspected thief happened Monday night.

In the surveillance footage, a woman can be seen walking down the alley before walking up to the car. 

At one point, it appears she looks directly at the surveillance camera before opening the passenger-side door and going into the car.

"It was just kind of shocking that somebody did that within the minute that he was inside the house – it's quite ballsy," the wife told CTV News.

The wife said her husband didn't know someone was in their vehicle until he opened the driver's side door. That's when he said he saw the woman with $20 in her mouth and rummaging through the vehicle.

According to the time stamp from the surveillance video, the woman was in the vehicle for one minute before she's seen running out as the dad gives chase wearing a baby carrier. The couple's toddler was inside.

"I think for a second he forgot my daughter was there and he started chasing (the woman), but then he realized she was there so it wasn't worth running after (the woman)," she said

She said the woman allegedly stole their dash cam, $20 and a pair of glasses but she also robbed the family of their sense of security.

She said her child, a three-year-old, was terrified after witnessing the encounter and even asked, "Is the scary lady coming back?"

But the toddler appears to be in better spirits Tuesday and was able to get into the car just fine, the wife said.

She said they filed a police report.

"The main lesson is to lock your car, even if you're going to the house for a minute. It's hard when you're carrying kids and things and have to get a key out, but in this case, it would've made a difference," she said.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article referred to the three-year-old as a baby. It has since been updated to reflect that the child was older.