COPS smashed a car window to save a "baby" left in the motor on a sweltering day - only to find it was a realistic DOLL.Chanel Cristofis, five, left the doll called Sam in her dad Anastasi's Vauxhall Zafira when he dropped her off at school.
He then went to work at the fish and chip shop he owns.
But a passer-by in the chippie car park spotted the eerily lifelike £100 Reborn doll and called the police in Worksop, Notts.
Amid fears the "child" could die in the heat, officers broke into the car before realising their mistake.
Anastasi, 37, said: "I couldn't believe it when the police turned up holding the doll and told me what had happened. The officer told me not to leave it in the car again."
The detail-packed dolls are a hit with little girls. Artists work painstakingly to make them look like real babies - even giving them birthmarks and tiny veins.
Chanel's mum Victoria, 25, said: "She is inseparable from this doll but it has caused all sorts of problems.
"A woman in a supermarket saw Chanel shaking it and was horrified. She asked what sort of mother I thought I was to allow my baby to be treated like that. I can see why the police did it. If it had been real, everyone would be thanking them."
Police are to pay for more than £200 damage done to the car. Sgt Robert Holmes said: "The call was made in good faith. Drivers need to think about what they leave on view in their cars."