Kidnapping, evading arrest, firearm and drug possession charges were filed Friday against a Los Angeles man accused of trying to kidnap a 9-year-old girl at a pricey Rancho Mirage supermarket, then leading authorities on a wild 60-mile pursuit that ended in Moreno Valley.
Roberto Arce Cardenas, 39, is accused of trying to abduct the girl about 11:40 a.m. Wednesday. The child was with her mother at the Gelson’s store in the 36100 block of Bob Hope Drive when Cardenas allegedly tried to pull her away, according to sheriff’s Capt. Jason Huskey.
Employees helped separate Cardenas from the child, and he allegedly took off in a silver Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, Capt. Jason Huskey said. According to a declaration in support of increased bail, the SUV was idling in the fire lane outside the market during the alleged kidnapping attempt.
The SUV was later spotted in the parking lot of a Walmart on Monterey Avenue in Palm Desert. The driver refused to pull over, triggering a pursuit that ended around 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Cottonwood Avenue and Graham Street in Moreno Valley, where Cardenas was taken into custody. An unloaded rifle and methamphetamine were allegedly found in his possession, according to the declaration.
Cardenas, who’s being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, pleaded not guilty to the charges and will return to court Aug. 29 for a felony settlement conference.
He has no prior felony convictions in Riverside County, but he has prior Los Angeles County convictions for robbery, firearm possession and vehicle theft, court records show.
–City News Service