OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — The suspect is still on the run after he stole a car from a driveway on Wednesday with a two-year-old boy still inside. Neighbors in the area said an instance like this isn’t common.
“We generally don’t have something like this that has never happened since I’ve lived here,” said neighbor Susan Phillips.
Neighbors were worried as the search for two-year-old Ryland Penner took up most of the afternoon.
Oklahoma City Police said that around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, they received a call about a stolen car with a child inside. They said the car was stolen out of the driveway on Harvey Parkway.
“The dog got out. She turned to deal with the dog and at some point there was a person standing nearby. That person saw the vehicle running, got inside the car, drove off in it with the child. And it’s important to note that right now there’s no indication that this was a targeted kidnapping,” said OKCPD PIO Gary Knight.
Neighbors stepped inside for comfort, giving the family hugs.
“We were at their front door ringing the doorbell, the wife was screaming and crying. She fell down on her knees. I just hugged her. We were praying and crying,” said Phillips.
Officers said they used helicopters and cameras around the city to look for the car. An Amber Alert was issued and nearly three hours later, someone saw the stolen car and called it in.
Two-year-old Ryland was found safe, 13 miles away from home.
“Got the cops over here quickly via the Amber Alert, seemed to work beautifully. And, you know, it’s a happy ending, thank God, because the prayers were answered,” said Phillips.
Wednesday night, the suspect was still nowhere to be found.
“The description is vague. It’s a person who’s probably involved in homelessness, probably a homeless person, a transient outside here,” said Knight.
The description Oklahoma City Police have for the suspect is a tall, white male with dark hair and dirty clothes.