Car stolen with child inside has been located, girl OK

Posted at 5:50 PM, Dec 16, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- A car stolen from a Salt Lake apartment complex Tuesday prompted an Amber Alert that ended a few blocks away.

According to authorities, a woman had left her 3-year-old granddaughter in the car while she ran into the management office at Eagles Landing Apartments along Redwood Road.  The car was left running, and as the toddler slept, police said someone jumped in the driver’s seat and took off.

“Very scary -- I was shaking,” said Aura Avela, the girl’s great aunt.

Avela was not there at the time, but said her sister immediately called her and police around 5 p.m., at which point they issued an Amber Alert. Not even an hour later, they found the car abandoned along the side of the road at 900 S. 1500 West.

“It’s scary for everyone involved,” said Det. Greg Wilking spokesman fore Salt Lake City Police Department.

An officer found the child in the backseat of the car unharmed. While police have not identified a suspect, they do not believe the person intended to abduct the 3-year-old girl.

"They just came up and took the vehicle and probably realized a short time later, ‘Oh no, there's a child in this car,’” Wilking said. “It was probably a scary surprise.”

The little girl’s mother is currently in the hospital and was not aware of the incident.  The family was relieved it ended the way it did.

“Thank God,” Avela said.