Car with child inside stolen at Sioux Falls gas station

Published: Oct. 21, 2019 at 11:14 AM CDT
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Authorities say a man is behind bars after stealing a car with a toddler still inside from a Sioux Falls convenience store.

The incident happened around 8 a.m. Monday at a gas station near 10th Street and Cliff Avenue, according to Sioux Falls Police Department spokesman Sam Clemens.

A woman stopped her car at the store and went inside, leaving her car running and unlocked with a two-year-old child still in a car seat. She told police she intended to only be in the store for a moment.

Clemens said once the woman entered the store, the suspect, 36-year-old Graylin Tanner, jumped in the car and took off.

At some point, Tanner realized there was a child in the back seat. He dropped off the child, still in the car seat, at a laundromat at 6th Street and West Avenue.

Once the woman realized her car was stolen, she called police. Clemens said she also left her cell phone in the car, which officers were able to use to track down the vehicle.

Officers pulled the car over near 8th Street and Phillips Avenue. Tanner told police where he had dropped the child off at. Police found the child, unharmed, at 8:21 a.m.

Police arrested Tanner on a number of charges, including grand theft and felony child abuse.

Clemens said it is unusual to have a child in a car that ends up stolen, but it is a situation police have seen before. He also said most cases of stolen cars are similar to this incident, where a car is left unlocked with the keys inside.

"Somebody runs into convenience store, or their house, and doesn't think anything of it," Clemens said. "The problem is, you're leaving your car running and unlocked. For some people, especially on a cool morning, it's too great of a temptation."