MIDVALE — Police are searching for a man who stole a car with two children in the back seat from a Midvale gas station Sunday afternoon.
A 13-year-old girl and her 4-month-old sister were in the backseat of the car when their mom stopped for fuel at Hart's, 335 W. 7200 South. The mother went into the gas station while the kids remained in the vehicle, said Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray.
Gray said the car wasn't running, but the keys were in the vehicle. She said the man came from across the street and may have been watching as the mother went into the gas station.
As far as police are aware, the man did not have a visible weapon and did not make threats, Gray said.
Josslyn Millam, the teen who was in the backseat, said the incident was frightening but she was taught to fight back. She called police and started screaming and hitting the man.
"He just looked me in the eyes, I started hitting him. And he was like, 'I'm sorry, I won't hurt you,'" Josslyn said.4 comments on this story
"It was horrifying. I was just scared that he was gonna hurt my baby sister and me. I was also pretty scared that my mom was gonna think I took her car. … But I'm just glad that we're safe," she said.
After the teen began yelling and hitting the man, Gray said he pulled into the parking lot of Dr. John's Lingerie, 6885 S. State St., got out of the vehicle and fled heading southwest. The parking lot is about a mile away from the gas station.
The man could face theft and kidnapping charges, according to Gray.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Unified Police at 801-743-7000.