Wichita police make arrest in case of van stolen with 3 children inside

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Thursday, June 20, 2019

Wichita police arrested two men after a van was stolen with three young children inside on Wednesday.

Police say 31-year-old Jason Barajas was arrested on three counts of kidnapping, three counts of child endangerment, auto theft and various drug charges in connection with the case.

Police say on Wednesday, officers were dispatched to an abduction call at 3:50 p.m. at the DC Gas Station, 2160 S. Broadway. There, a 25-year-old mother reported that while she was in the business, someone stole her maroon Town and Country van with three children inside, ages 6 months old, 18 months old, and 2 years old

Through their investigation, police learned the children's mother had turned off the van and went into the store but left the keys inside of the van.

Police say Barajas was a passenger inside a silver SUV parked next to the van. They say he got out of the vehicle and got into the van, drove through the parking lot and then eastbound on Kinkaid. The SUV then left parking lot traveling northbound on Broadway.

Officers located the van, abandoned, in 1500 block. of S. Gold. The children were found inside and were not hurt.

Late Wednesday evening, EMCU detectives identified Barajas as the potential suspect who stole a van and Wesley Coleman as the driver of the silver SUV.

Barajas was arrested during the vehicle stop at Kellogg and Tyler. He was in a vehicle that had been reported stolen through the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office.

Coleman was identified with the assistance of the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office. He was arrested on a separate vehicle stop in the 6200 block. of West Kellogg. He was not arrested on any charges from the initial incident.

Wichita police will present all facts to the Sedgwick County District's Attorney's Office to determine charges against these Barajas and Coleman.

-----

Update 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Wichita Police Department released further information on a Wednesday afternoon abduction call, including photos from surveillance footage, showing two men they describe as "persons of interest" in the case.

At about 3:50 p.m., officers responded to the 2100 block of S. Broadway (near Kinkaid and Broadway) for an abduction call. At a convenience store, police say officers contacted a 25-year-old woman who reported her maroon Town and Country van was stolen from the parking lot and that her three children, ages 6 months, 18 months and 2-year-old were still inside the van.

Police found that van about 30 minutes later in the 1500 block of S. Gold. They say the children were still inside the van, unharmed. This second location is about a mile (eight or nine blocks) from the convenience store where the van was stolen, police say.

Police are looking for the two white men they say are persons of interest. The first was wearing a red shirt, dark shorts and a white KU hat. The second was wearing a multi-colored shirt and dark shorts.

"The two were in a white SUV that appears to be a Suburban," police say.

If anyone has information on these individuals, please have them call 911. They may also submit anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers by calling 316-267-2111.

-----

Update 5:17 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says officers are working to identify and find the man they say stole a van with three children inside from a south Wichita gas station.

Ramsay says policed responded to the child abduction call a little before 4 p.m. today (Wednesday). He says a mother stopped to fill up her van at a gas station near Broadway and Kinkaid. When she went inside to pay, she left the keys in the vehicle and a man stole the van with a 6-month-old, an 18-month-old and a 2-year-old child inside.

Ramsay says a 911 call was immediately made and officers began searching the area. About 30 minutes after that call, he says officers found the stolen van in the 1500 block of South Gold, eight or nine blocks from the convenience store.

Ramsay says the children were not harmed, but police haven't made an arrest in this case as they search for the suspect. He says officers are looking to see surveillance video or speak with potential witnesses. For now, the only suspect description is that he is a white male.

Ramsay says at this point, it's believed this was a random crime.

"Time will tell as the investigation proceeds," he says.

-----

Police are in south Wichita working a child abduction call.

A public information officer with the Wichita Police Department says officers were called to the 1500 block of S. Gold for the report of a vehicle stolen with children inside.

The children were located and are safe.

We have a crew headed to Kinkaid and Broadway where we expect an update from police.