RANCHO CORDOVA - A man was arrested Friday after allegedly stealing a car with an infant inside.
According to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office Deputy William Robinson, at around 12:30 p.m. Friday, a mother was loading her children into her Acura sedan at an apartment building in the 2000 block of Laurenhurst Drive. The mother had buckled one child, a 1.5-year-old infant, into their car seat and went to get another child. When she returned, she found that the car was gone, along with the baby.
A short time later, the suspect dropped the infant off, car seat and all, outside a strip mall near Malaga Way. A bystander witnessed the incident and called authorities.
While the suspect was driving away in the stolen vehicle, he failed to yield to authorities. He was pursued a short time and spike strips were used to flatten the car's tires. The suspect pulled into a parking lot in the area of Coloma Rd. and McGregor Dr. where he was forcefully arrested by Rancho Cordova police.
The suspect is 25-year-old Aaron Lemus. He is facing charges of kidnapping, theft of a vehicle, recklessly evading a police officer, and endangering the life or health of a child. He's scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, June 6.
The infant was reunited with their mother and was not injured during the incident.
CBS 13 spoke with the infant's father who said he is thankful the suspect had the decency to leave his daughter in her car seat. He called this a crime of opportunity. He said he will do everything in his power to prevent these types of crimes from happening in his neighborhood again.
Neighbors of the couple told CBS 13 that the mother was distraught but glad to be reunited with her baby.
"I can't imagine what that mother went through, but I know she was excited to get her hands on that child," said Robinson.
Robinson could not say whether the vehicle was running at the time that it was stolen, or if the suspect used a tool to start it. The suspect is facing multiple charges. His identity has not been released.
Robinson said the child is ok and was not placed in further harm, but gave a word of warning to other parents.
"If possible, have both children with you or have somebody else with you to load up the kids because honestly, you never know when something like this is going to happen," said Robinson.
The time between the reported theft to the arrest lasted around 15 minutes. The keen eyes of the bystander at the strip mall are being credited for the safe recovery of the infant.
Rancho Cordova is located in Sacramento County and is part of the greater Sacramento metropolitan area.
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