SALT LAKE CITY — A man stole a car with a boy inside over the weekend, then flagged down an officer to turn himself in, police say.
Francisco Esmerado, 23, of Salt Lake City, was arrested for investigation of child kidnapping and theft of a vehicle.
On Sunday, Esmerado took a car that was parked in front of the Microtel Inn and Suites Hotel, 61 N. Tommy Tompson Road, as a woman went inside to check in, according to Salt Lake police.
“When (Esmerado) took the vehicle, there was a 12-year-old child in the front passenger seat,” according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.
As Esmerado was getting onto I-80 a few miles away, he “observed an officer and promptly flagged him down to report he had just stolen the vehicle,” according to police.
Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer said the man told the officer that he was “trying to get away,” but it was unclear who or what he was allegedly trying to get away from.
The boy was not harmed.
Shearer said as part of their investigation, detectives will be looking to determine whether drugs or mental health issues were factors.