|Updated: 8/25/2011 3:49 pm
||Published: 8/24/2011 10:04 am
Glenpool police are searching for the man they think stole an SUV with a child inside on Wednesday. The five-year old child was found safe a short time later.
Police are obtaining warrants for Kyle Eslinger for kidnapping, auto theft, child endangerment and eluding an officer. He could be in the company of his sister Nicole Elsinger or his girlfriend Chrishonda Mendenhall.
Police say Kyle Elsinger is out on probation for other crimes in Oklahoma and the parole board is looking for him. Investigators think they could be in the Seminole or Moore area.
The incident happened just before 8 a.m. Wednesday outside the Growing Tree Learning Center near 142nd Street and South Elwood.
Police say a mother left her car running with the five-year-old child inside while she quickly ran into the daycare to drop off her infant child. When she came out moments later the car and the child were gone.
"We called the police, and they responded excellently," Growing Tree Learning Center Director Shannon Springer said. "They were on it within minutes."
Glenpool schools went on lockdown as a precaution while police searched for the suspect, but police say the kids were never in danger. Fifteen minutes later an officer spotted the SUV near the Best Western Motel off Hwy 75.
"[The officer] activated his equipment," Glenpool Police Chief Dennis Waller said. "The driver stopped, took out running. The child's safety being our first priority, he went to check on the child. The child was OK."
Officers set up a perimeter around the woods behind the motel, and brought in a search dog from the Bixby Police Department, but had no luck finding the suspect.
Carol Ames lives in Keifer, but works and spends most of her time in Glenpool. She says what's most disturbing is that it all happened outside a daycare.
"It's terribly sad, but I'm really thankful that the child is OK," Ames said. "I, personally, don't have children, but a lot of my friends do. And, yeah, that's really scary to think that that can happen right here."
Even though the suspect remained on the loose Wednesday afternoon, folks in the area were glad things didn't turn out worse.
"We're just glad that everyone is safe," Springer said. "The child is safe. And thank you Glenpool Police Department for being right on it."
"Gosh, I hope it never happens again," Ames said.
Police think stealing the car was simply a crime of opportunity, and that the suspect likely didn't even realize the child was in the car when he stole it.
The suspect is described as a white man in his early twenties, of average build, with a dark complexion.
Anybody with information on the suspect is asked to call Glenpool Police.