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Utah man in custody after allegedly stealing car with two kids inside

Salt Lake City police had a 24-year-old man in custody Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly stole a car with two young children inside.

The girls, 2 and 4, were sleeping inside an idling car about 3:45 p.m. at Little Caesar’s near 900 West and 800 South while the woman who was caring for them picked up pizza in the restaurant, said Detective Mike Hamideh. While the woman — a relative but not the girls’ mother — was inside the restaurant, a man got in the car and drove it away, striking another car as he was leaving Little Caesars, Hamideh said.

The woman gave a thorough description of the stolen car, and police spotted it near 500 West and 200 South. The man pulled over and surrendered without incident about 4:15 p.m.

The children were not harmed, police said.

“It’s a cautionary tale,” Hamideh said.

Detectives were investigating whether the woman broke any laws by leaving them asleep inside a running car.

“Were the children placed in some type of neglectful situation? Should the person have known it was so reckless ... that the children were likely to have been harmed?” Hamideh said. “The D.A. will decide.”

ealberty@sltrib.com

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