Highland Heights police working to find man who stole car with kids inside

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ohio --  Highland Heights Police have released a composite forensic sketch of the man they believe stole a car while two young kids were in it in December.

The kids’ father, Derek Driskill, had left the car running with the kids inside in a Chipotle parking lot as he ran in to pick up an online order. Driskill saw the man and ran out of the restaurant and tried to stop him.

“I was hanging on the door and getting dragged. I thought he was going to wreck and I didn’t want the car crashing with the kids in it, so I let go. I literally fell in the middle of the street,” explained Driskill to FOX 8’s Peggy Gallek shortly after the carjacking.

The suspect pushed the three-year-old out of the car a few streets away and the six-year-old was found in a neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland about 30 minutes later.

Driskill worked with Highland Heights Police to create a forensic sketch of the man.

“He was able to sit down after the incident and give us a detailed statement and provide good picture details of what the male looked like,” said Sergeant Brian McCallister with Highland Heights Police.

Driskill says he believes the man was somewhere between the ages of 17 to 24. Driskill had GPS on his car and police were able to locate it later that night in Cleveland, but the suspect has not been found.

“These kids out here now a days have no regard for anything. I mean they don’t care whose life they take, they don’t care who’s houses they burglarize, they just don’t have a care in the world,” Driskill said.

Driskill says the forensic sketch is a good picture of the young man who stole his car. He says the man smiled at him as he drove away.

“I can’t wait till the day that he’s captured you know so there can be no other victims or situations like this and I hope he gets everything that’s coming to him,” Driskill said.

Highland Heights Police Sergeant McCallister says this is the first carjacking he can remember since he came to the department five years ago. He’s hoping the sketch and Driskill’s story will convince someone to come forward.

“I have a child and people watching this have children I think they’d know what they would feel...if they watched them drive off in the vehicle with their children inside,” McCallister said.

Anyone with information can contact the Highland Heights Police Detective Bureau at 440-442-8825.