After his mom heard the child's cries, Ben Theriot grabbed a ratchet strap and became pounding on the car's windshield. It bent, but didn't break, so Ben climbed on top of the car and started jumping on the glass, which then cracked, he told KOKI-TV.
Using part of a clothes rack from the shopping center, Ben "put the hook into the windshield and pulled it out," he said. "And then I unlocked it.”
The toddler was red-faced, but OK, police said.
His mother was found shopping inside. She told authorities she thought the child was being watched by another adult in the vehicle, though officials said they question that claim as the car was locked with the air off.
Police said the mother won't face charges because the child wasn't injured. They did issue her a $250 ticket under the "Forget Me Not" law.
The 2-year-old went home with his mother, but authorities said there will be further investigation into the incident.
The heat index that day reached 116 degrees, according to police.