A lot of times we believe we can quickly run in and run an errand and leave the children in the car. That's dangerous on two accounts. One being this case, and another being that if that car wasn't left running, in this kind of heat, that could be very dangerous for the children. —Salt Lake City Police detective Mike Hamideh
SALT LAKE CITY — A man was arrested Wednesday after police say he drove off in a stolen car with two sleeping children in the back seat.
A woman, who was a relative of the children, was parked at Little Caesars, 805 S. 900 West, about 3:45 p.m. and left the car running while she went in to pick up some pizzas, Salt Lake City Police detective Mike Hamideh said.
A 2-year-old and a 3-year-old were asleep in the back seat, he said.
While the woman was inside, Jeremy Ohm, 24, drove off in the car, Hamideh said. An officer spotted Ohm near 250 South and 500 West, about 1.5 miles away, and signaled for him to stop.
Ohm did not attempt to flee, but he didn't stop immediately, Hamideh said.
Ohm was taken into custody without incident, and the children were returned safely, he said. There was no connection between Ohm and the mother.
Ohm struck a car as he drove off in the stolen vehicle and will be investigated for a hit-and-run accident, vehicle theft and kidnapping, Hamideh said.
The relative was inside the store for a short time and likely won't face any neglect charges, but "there's a bit of a cautionary tale here," Hamideh said.
"A lot of times we believe we can quickly run in and run an errand and leave the children in the car," he said. "That's dangerous on two accounts. One being this case, and another being that if that car wasn't left running, in this kind of heat, that could be very dangerous for the children."