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Father’s tracking device helped save kids

YOUNGSTOWN — A tracking device helped a father find his three children who were kidnapped early Saturday when a Youngstown man drove off in his white passenger van, according to a Youngstown police report.

The father, 52, of Youngstown, pulled into the parking lot of the Circle K store at 1821 Mahoning Ave. on the West Side a little after 2 a.m. Saturday with his three young kids sleeping in the van and went inside the store.

When he came back out, the van was gone.

The father called 911 to report the kidnapping but also “accessed the real-time tracking device, which was on the van,” the police report states. It told the man the van was now in the 300 block of Argo Street about 1 1/2 miles away.

Another man who had been parked next to the stolen van agreed to take the father to Argo Street.

While officers were en route to the Circle K, they were advised the father had tracked the van on Argo Street, so officers headed there.

“As we arrived on Argo Street, we observed a male Hispanic wearing a black shirt, camo hat and blue pants walking on the side of the road with three young girls beside him,” the report states.

The officers then detained the man, identified as Abraham I. Jimenez Zenquiz, 23, of Mahoning Avenue, police said. None of the girls — ages 10, 8 and 4 — were injured, and they quickly were reunited with their father when he arrived there, the report states.

One of the girls told police the children were asleep when Jimenez woke them up and had them exit the van.

“As he noticed the police approaching, he told them to tell the officers that a black man took them,” the report states.

Jimenez was taken to jail, charged with three counts of kidnapping and one count of felony theft. He was arraigned Monday in Youngstown Municipal Court, where bond of $75,000 was set. He returns to court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

The witness told police he saw a Hispanic man walk up to the van that was later stolen. It appeared the man was talking to the driver of the van, but then he got into the van and drove away.

Immediately the girls’ father came out of the store “screaming that his children were in the van,” the witness said.

When Jimenez was searched as he was being arrested, police found six baggies of suspected marijuana, the report states.

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