WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office announced that a Wichita man was sentenced Tuesday for stealing a van with kids inside on June 19, 2019. Jason Barajas, 32 of Wichita, was sentenced to 47 months in prison.
Wichita police were dispatched to the D&C Store at 2160 S. Broadway. A woman told them she walked into the convenience store to buy something and left her three children, two-years, one-year, and eight months old, in the van. The keys were left in the vehicle which was stolen while the woman was inside.
Wichita police requested 911 to “geo-locate” the van by “pinging” the mother’s cellphone that had been left inside. The vehicle was found abandoned a half-hour later in the 1500 block of S. Gold with the windows rolled up. The temperature at the time was around 80 degrees. Officers said the children were sweating from the heat and crying in the backseat.
Another cellphone was found in the van that did not belong to the mother. Police used that phone to track down Barajas. Police later discovered that Barajas had been sitting in the passenger seat of a car parked next to the van when he watched the mother enter the convenience store.
On October 7, 2020, Barajas pled guilty to theft and aggravated endangering a child.