Alleged Car Thief Flags Down Police After Realizing Child Was in Back Seat

Francisco Esmerado, 23, is accused of stealing a car outside a motel near the Salt Lake City airport at 3:42 a.m. Monday.
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A Utah man has been arrested after flagging down a police officer to report he had stolen a car with a child inside, authorities said. 

Francisco Esmerado, 23, is accused of stealing a car outside a motel near Salt Lake City International Airport at 3:42 a.m. Monday, police told KSTU-TV

But he wasn’t alone. When the car’s driver had gone inside the motel to register, she apparently left her 12-year-old son in the back seat, police told the station.

Esmerado allegedly pulled onto Interstate 80 and shortly thereafter got the attention of a cop to surrender and return the child, KSL-TV reported. 

Police said Esmerado said he was “trying to get away,” but didn’t specify from whom or what. 

He was charged with first-degree felony kidnapping, second-degree felony theft of a motor vehicle and third-degree violation of probation, online records show. 

He was being held at the Salt Lake County jail on $25,000 bond.

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