Police seek suspect who stole car with child still inside it

Posted at 4:37 PM, Oct 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-26 18:39:33-04

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – A man allegedly stole a vehicle from an apartment complex Friday night, and there was a young child still in the vehicle as he drove away.

Police responded to a call at about 9 p.m. in the area around 4100 South and 1500 West after a mother reported her car was stolen when she left it running while she went inside to grab something.

The suspect jumped into the car and fled, and the Amber Nixon’s 6-year-old daughter was in the back seat.

"I ran as fast as I could, yelling that my daughter’s in the car, because I didn’t think they realized that," Nixon said.

Nixon said it was a terrifying experience.

"Horrible things are going through my head… I could believe someone would take my daughter with my car… a horrible experience," she said.

Police said the girl was found a few blocks away from the apartment complex, and they found the vehicle, abandoned nearby, a short time later.

There were no injuries reported, and Nixon said her daughter seemed to be doing well.

"She was actually having fun with the paramedics that came in and checked her out and stuff… I was more affected than her by the whole experience," she said.

Lt. Justin Hoyal of the Unified Police Department said the incident is a reminder to citizens not to leave a vehicle running.

“Right now it appears that this case is just a crime of opportunity,” he said. “The vehicle was left running, the suspect was possibly in that area, saw the opportunity, got in the car and fled with it. You know, it's one of those unfortunate reminders that you cannot leave your vehicle running, unattended, especially with your child in the car.”

The suspect is described as a male with a dark complexion. He was last seen wearing basketball shorts and a black hooded sweatshirt with gold lettering on it. Anyone with information about the suspect or the incident is asked to contact police at 801-743-7000.