Van stolen in Fond du Lac with boy inside found, suspect in custody

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FOND DU LAC (WITI) — Officials in Fond du Lac were able to locate and take into custody a man they believe is responsible for the theft of a van from the ShopKo parking lot on Monday, June 10th.

An off-duty West Allis police officer saw the stolen van parked on the street Wednesday morning. He has seen newscasts featuring the story of the stolen van, and recognized the license plate.

A 19-year-old Milwaukee man was found sleeping inside the van and taken into custody in West Allis.

Fond du Lac officials interviewed the man, who admitted to taking the van.

The man is currently being held without bail in the Fond du Lac County Jail on charges of Operating a Motor Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent and bail jumping.

The suspect took the van on Monday evening without realizing an eight-year-old boy was inside!

The boy’s mother discovered the van and her son missing shortly after 5 p.m. Monday.┬áPolice say the vehicle’s keys had been left in the ignition.

Investigators say the suspect dropped off the child near Military Rd. and Seymour St. in Fond du Lac and then left the area.

The boy, who had a cell phone, was reunited with his father. The child was not threatened or physically harmed by the suspect.

The child was able to contact his mom via cell phone after he was dropped off, because he had been playing games on her phone in the van.

“As long as he can play video games, he’s pretty content,” Holly Jaschob, the boy’s mother told FOX6 News.

Jaschob said the two went to ShopKo — and that her son, Elijah had requested a pack of gum. However, when they arrived at the store, they discovered Eli had forgotten his shoes.

“I said, ‘you’re not gonna be able to come in the store. You don’t have any shoes on. Take my cell phone and play your little Temple Run 2 game,'” Jaschob said.

The boy’s mom left her keys in the ignition, the air conditioning on, and thought she’d locked the doors.

“I don’t know if we have a safety mechanism in the car where if it’s running it won’t lock the driver’s door?” Jaschob said.

Jaschob and Eli’s sister were gone for just a few minutes.

“When I came back out, the van was gone,” Jaschob said.

While Jaschob panicked, Eli was absorbed in his game. He said he felt the car start to move, but thought his mom was behind the wheel. Then, his cell phone rang.

“I was shocked when I poked my head up and it wasn’t my mom. So I poke my head from the back and he looks behind and then he says ‘get out — so I got out,'” Eli said.