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4 steal idling car outside school with 4-year-old still inside, police say

A West Valley police car is parked in West Valley City on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.
A West Valley police car is parked in West Valley City on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

WEST VALLEY CITY — A car with a 4-year-old child inside was stolen Thursday while it was left running in front of an elementary school.

Fortunately, the burglars abandoned the car about 200 yards later and left the toddler unharmed. But they still took cellphones, a purse and credit cards according to police.

The scary incident happened about 2:45 p.m. Thursday in front of Redwood Elementary, 2650 S. Redwood Road. Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said a mother left her vehicle running as she ran inside the school to drop something off.

While she was away, Horsley said four people got inside her car and took off.

Apparently realizing that there was a child in the vehicle shortly after taking it, the group drove to a nearby industrial area and abandoned the car, Horsley said. But while they left the child unharmed, the “suspects took a purse, credit cards, identification cards and two cellphones,” according to a police affidavit.

The missing car and the child were found about 15 minutes later by Granite police with assistance from West Valley police.

Using surveillance video from the school which recorded the vehicle being taken, investigators were able to identify Osman Mohamed Osman, 22, of West Valley City, and took him into custody, He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of child kidnapping and theft. The search for the other three continued Friday.

Horsley said the suspects are not connected with the school in any way and this was a crime of opportunity.

Osman Mohamed Osman
Osman Mohamed Osman
Salt Lake County Jail