WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police are searching for the man who stole a car and kidnapped a toddler who was asleep inside -- all while the child's dad was standing right next to it. The brazen crime happened just before midnight Thursday in Waikiki near the intersection of Seaside Avenue and Manukai Street.
According to police, 29-year-old Gordan Ittu had pulled over to smoke a cigarette and left the car running and unlocked while his 3-year-old daughter Teysha was sleeping on the backseat -- that's when he says someone jumped in and took off.
Ittu reportedly chased after the SUV as it sped away with his daughter still inside. 3-year-old Teysha was found unharmed a short distance later along Ala Wai Boulevard.
Hawaii News Now has learned police units were told to pursue the suspect, but not chase the vehicle. They tracked the driver through Waipahu and Ewa Beach as he made his way to the Waianae Coast, where he eventually crashed the SUV off Mailili Road.
Officers recovered the stolen car overturned in a ditch around 1:45 a.m. Friday, but there was no sign of the driver. The SUV was towed to Angel's in Waianae after DNA samples were taken from inside and off of the toddler as well.
Ittu's wife and Teysha's mother says she doesn't know why her husband and daughter were in Waikiki around midnight, but explained that she works an overnight shift as a cashier, which is why the toddler was with her father. Tulpe Skilling says she's just grateful they're both okay.
Detectives returned to the scene in Waikiki Friday morning to canvass the neighborhood in hopes surveillance cameras may have captured the incident.
The suspect remains unidentified and on the loose. He's described as a caucasian man around 180 pounds with a goatee.