Mandeville police are awaiting extradition from Mississippi of two people who allegedly stole a vehicle from a Mandeville gas station Thursday while a small child was inside it.
A woman left her 18-month-old son inside the 2017 Jeep Cherokee with the engine running while she went inside the service station at Girod and Florida streets about 2 p.m. When she came back out, the car was gone, according to a news release from Ron Ruple, Mandeville's assistant police chief.
Police units flooded the area, tracking the vehicle as it headed east toward Mississippi, using the victim's cellphone, which she had left inside.
Meanwhile, dispatchers received a call about a small child in the roadway about three blocks east of the gas station, and the mother and child were reunited, Ruple said.
Pursuit of the vehicle, which was low on gas, was joined by the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Harrison County Sheriff's Office. A man and woman were spotted as a gas station at Interstate 10 and Miss. 603.
Patrick Warren Cole, 34, and Tara Lynn Beisel, 20, were questioned by Mandeville police detectives and admitted stealing the vehicle and putting the child out on the road. The two are transients from Oklahoma who were headed to Florida.
Harrison County will charge them as fugitives from Mandeville. Mandeville Police will obtain warrants on theft of a motor vehicle and kidnapping.