Support Salvation Army Wildfire Relief

Girls escape moments before man stealing SUV in KCK speeds away

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Police are investigating after a woman reported a man stole her SUV and forced three children to get out of the backseat. Mindy Ulmer said she had just ran into In and Out Food Mart near 59th and Leavenworth Road, and the young girls were waiting out in the car.

The cousins said they knew something wasn’t right when the man approached the SUV.

“I screamed 'oh my God' really loud and Savannah was screaming 'help, help, help' the entire time,” said Sarah Lynn Ulmer.

The girls said things became even more stressful when they tried to exit the SUV. They said the man opened the front door and demanded they get out. The cousins said they tried to open the back doors but the child lock was on so they could not get out.

“We had to get out because there was no telling what he was going to do,” said Savannah Leaper, 15. “I was kind of scared but I just knew I had to get the girls out of the car.”

Eventually, one of the girls climbed up to the front seat, just inches away from the suspect, and hit the unlock button. They said they made it out just moments before the suspect drove away.

“We just like ran into the gas station and it was kind of awkward because everybody was just kind of staring and not doing anything, and when we got inside we just started yelling and my sister and Sarah just fell to the floor,” Ulmer said.

To make matters worse, Mindy Ulmer, the owner of the SUV, said she had just purchased it the day before it was stolen. The SUV is a black, 2008 Saturn Outlook. It has temporary 60-day Kansas plates. Police ask you to call them if you think you see it. You can call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.