PITTSBURG (KPIX 5) -- A female suspect with a distinctive facial tattoo was arrested early Friday after investigators say she brazenly strolled up to an idling SUV, jumped inside and drove off with a 1-year-old girl strapped in a car seat in the back.
Officers obtained video surveillance from a Wing Stop security camera of the woman who was described as a white female adult in her 30's, with medium build and with an unknown tattoo on her face.
Early Friday morning, Pittsburg police received a call from a concerned citizen who reported a woman who was walking on Habor Street, matching that description. Officers arrived and contacted the woman, identifying her as 24-year-old Nataly Ayala.
She was later positively identified and placed under arrest for kidnapping and vehicle theft.
KPIX obtained additional surveillance video from a camera across the street at the All-N-1 Auto Body Shop.
The brief clips showed the terrifying moment when the 2007 Chevy Tahoe was taken with one-year-old Mona still in the back seat. Someone can be seen running after the car as the thief drove off.
The abduction took place around 5:45 p.m. Thursday and involved a 2007 Chevy Tahoe with black rims and a Mexico sticker on the rear window.
A San Francisco Bay Area-wide Amber Alert was issued and an intense search was launched.
A Pittsburg resident found the SUV and the baby girl in a parking lot of an apartment complex at 7:30 p.m. and helped reunite her with her family.
"They were blocking the driveway and (the vehicle) was just sitting here and it was weird because they heard a baby scream. Screaming and crying and then they looked in there and flashed the light. The door was open and they got the baby out," said the complex property manager who gave her name as Liz.
Investigators say the child was left in a running car when the father stepped out to talk to another man at a business on Bliss Street. The two men were approached by a woman asking for a cigarette but then the woman got into the car and drove off with the child inside.
Officers scoured the streets until they got the tip that baby Mona was at the apartment complex.
Police, however, did not find the suspect and a K-9 was called in to help with the search.
Residents were just thankful the child was found.
"I have 12 kids so it hit me because it could be anybody's kid and thank God! The Amber Alert came and the baby was sitting here," Liz said.
The abduction was one of two separate incidents in the East Bay Thursday night involving children inside vehicles that were stolen. Police in Concord are still searching for a suspect who stole a vehicle with a four-month-old baby in the back seat.
The vehicle was later found abandoned with the unharmed baby still inside. The infant was then reunited with family.
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