A five-month-old girl was safe, but the suspect remained at large at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in a bizarre carjacking beginning at an apartment complex in the 1000 block of Rock Springs Road near Lincoln Avenue.
An as-yet uncaught man took the Toyota Camry from the apartment complex around 3 p.m., according to Escondido police Lt. Ed Varso who said a neighbor reported the car sped away.
The child’s mother had left the infant in the car while running inside her home. When she emerged, the car, and baby, was gone, solid gone, according to police.
Escondido officers, San Marcos sheriff’s deputies and a police helicopter surged through the area looking for car and baby. They located the car around 4 p.m. at the Eagles Point Apartments in the 1500 block of E Grand Avenue near Rose Street.
Good news, the baby girl remained safe in the back seat. Medics checked on the child and found her in good shape before reuniting with mom, according to Varso.
The suspect was described as Hispanic, about 30 years old, with dark hair and unshaven facial hair. Varso said he was seen wearing dark-colored pants and a short-sleeved white T-shirt, which slightly covered a tattoo on his arm.
Amazingly, this wasn’t the only report of a thief taking a vehicle with a kid inside in the last 24 hours. A similar scenario took place late Wednesday at Chula Vista. A man was arrested on suspicion of stealing a mother’s car with a baby boy inside outside a motel. The car was found in National City with the baby safe inside.
Steve Luna, 25, who later admitted to taking the car, called police around 12:10 a.m. Thursday after noticing there was a baby sleeping in a car seat in the back, police said in the statement.
Officers sent to the 500 block of K Avenue found the boy unharmed and still strapped into his safety seat. Police said he had since been returned to his mother.
Luna was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of auto theft and being under the influence of a controlled substance, according to police.