Police: Thief takes car with children inside

Members of the Idaho Falls Police Department investigate a stolen car on Wednesday night. John Roark / jroark@postregister.com

An unidentified suspect remains at large after stealing a vehicle carrying two children Wednesday.

The Idaho Falls Police Department was called at 5:15 p.m. about a white Toyota Sequoia that was missing from the Grand Teton Council - Boy Scouts of America Office in Idaho Falls. The car was left idling for five minutes with two young boys, ages 2 and 4 months, inside.

The car was found abandoned at the intersection of South Boulevard and Seventh Street shortly after it was reported stolen. Both children were still inside and unharmed.

Police were unable to find witnesses, and no suspect has been identified. Idaho law does not criminalize leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. Idaho Code 18-1501 does make it a crime to leave children in dangerous situations. Because the incident is still under investigation, no charges are being considered, according to an Idaho Falls city news release.

“We would like to remind community members that vehicles can and may be stolen in even the safest of neighborhoods,” Idaho Falls Police Chief Bryce Johnson said in the news release. “It only takes a thief a few seconds to jump in a vehicle and take off with your children inside. During the hustle and bustle of busy lives, and especially during the holiday season, we all need to keep safety at the forefront of our minds.”

Anyone with information can call Bonneville County Dispatch at 208-529-1200, Crime Stoppers at 208-522-1983, or report online at www.ifcrime.org.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.