Salt Lake City van thief finds kid in backseat, turns self in
Published: June 30, 2014 11:17AM
Updated: June 30, 2014 03:58PM

Police say when a car thief realized she had unknowingly taken a child as well as a van, she turned around, returned to the scene of the crime and waited for the law to arrive.

Salt Lake City police Detective Greg Wilkins said the 22-year-old suspect allegedly jumped behind the wheel of a Dodge Caravan left running and unlocked in the 500 block of Concord Street (1250 West), about 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Minutes later, though, the suspect noticed the 3-year-old girl in the back seat. She drove back to the house, knocked on the front door, returned the child — and asked to wait inside for police.

The mother of the child had just called 911 moments before, saying her vehicle had been stolen in the seconds while she darted out of the van to lock her home’s door.

At least, the suspect appeared on Monday to have avoided, initially at least, a charge of child abduction. However, she was being held in the Salt Lake County Jail in lieu of more than $1,300 bail on suspicion of second-degree felony theft and third-degree felony possession of methamphetamine charges.

Police, who allegedly found the victim’s cellphone stuffed inside the suspect’s bra, also booked her for misdemeanor theft.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims