Vehicle stolen with 8-year-old inside, deputies seek person of interest

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM)

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -Spokane deputies are looking for a man who stole a vehicle left running and unattended in a gas station parking lot near Mansfield and Pines in Spokane Valley. The driver's 8-year-old daughter was sitting in the backseat at the time. The man ditched the car a few blocks away and the girl ran to a nearby house for safety.

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Detectives are asking for the public's help as they work to identify the possible suspect seen in surveillance photos. They also ask businesses on Pines, between I-90 and Mansfield, and people living in a few block radius of Bowdish and Buckeye to review any surveillance they may have in the time frame between 6 and 8 a.m.

Deputies responded to a reported vehicle theft and abduction around 6:20 a.m. from the parking lot of Sam's One Stop gas station.

The victim told deputies she left her car running and the keys in the ignition when she was parked because she had been having problems with the car's battery. Her daughter stayed in the car while she went into the store. When the mom came back, her daughter and the car were gone. 

About 10 minutes later, as deputies were responding, a neighbor reported a girl at her door saying she was inside her mom's car when it was stolen by a man. The child, who was uninjured, said she ran from the car when the man stopped a few blocks away.

Deputies found the stolen car parked in the cul-de-sac at the west end of Marietta just north of the Eagle Point apartments. The suspect is believed to have taken off on foot after ditching the car, running along the north side of the apartments toward Bowdish.

Spokane Valley Deputy Phil Pfeifer and his partner K9 Enzo responded to area, along with multiple Deputies, Detectives and Air 1 to assist in the search but their efforts were unsuccessful.

Detectives ask anyone who can help identify this male to call Detective Darin Staley at 509-477-3160.

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