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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Child left in car that was stolen has been found safe

Tribune News Service

WENATCHEE – A 3-year-old child was found safe Sunday afternoon after the car the child was riding in was stolen and taken for a ride from Wenatchee to East Wenatchee.

Law enforcement officers brought out a search dog to track the woman suspected of taking the car but were unsuccessful in finding her, said Cpl. Nathan Hahn with the Wenatchee Police Department.

At 12:48 p.m. an East Wenatchee man called 911 to report that he had stopped his 2013 Jeep Compass at Walker Avenue and Ferry Street to go into a nearby house, and he had left a 3-year-old child in the car in a car seat. When he came back out, he saw a woman inside the Jeep, driving toward the Sen. George Sellar Bridge.

East Wenatchee Police and Douglas County sheriff’s deputies were advised to be on the lookout for the Jeep. It was spotted at 12:56 p.m. at the Hobby Lobby parking lot, Hahn said. A person in the parking lot told officers that the driver had been “a younger female with a dark complexion and shoulder length curly hair, wearing a maroon shirt.”

A tracking dog with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office lost the driver’s scent en route toward the Fred Meyer parking lot, Hahn said.

“She probably realized there was a child in the car and ditched it as soon as possible,” Hahn said.

The Jeep was not damaged.

“Don’t leave your car idling because it is an obvious, easy target for thieves but definitely don’t leave your vehicle running with a child in it,” he said. “That is just a really bad idea.”

Hahn said detectives will be looking at surveillance cameras in the areas where the woman was seen.