A convicted felon accused of stealing a vehicle with a toddler inside in Desert Hot Springs was arrested Monday, and police said the youngster was found safe and reunited with his family.
Yadira Dolores Flores, 31, of Desert Hot Springs — who was on probation from a felony vehicle theft conviction — was taken into custody about 1:15 a.m. in Cathedral City, about three hours after she allegedly stole the vehicle with the child inside, according to the Desert Hot Springs Police Department.
According to police, the boy’s mother reported her car was stolen from in front of a business in the 13700 block of Palm Drive about 10:15 p.m. Sunday, and her child was inside. Several neighboring law enforcement agencies responded to assist in the search, and an Amber Alert was issued for Anthony Chacon.
Daisy Rios told local television station KESQ that she fainted and suffered several seizures after learning her child was gone.
`I thought I was never going to see him again,” she said of her son, who she said is 2 years old. Police had said he was a year old.
Three hours after the car was stolen, a pedestrian walking in the 67500 block of Ramon Road in Cathedral City saw a car parked in an open field matching the description of the vehicle in the Amber Alert. She approached and saw a child in the backseat, picked him up and called 911, authorities said.
Meanwhile, Cathedral City police officers patrolling the area of Sarah Street and Agua Caliente Trail saw a woman matching the suspect’s description and took her into custody. Flores was booked at the Benoit Detention Center in Indio on suspicion of kidnapping, wilful child cruelty, auto theft with priors and for a probation violation, with bail set at $100,000.
The circumstances surrounding the vehicle theft remain unclear, although local police warned residents not to leave their children in vehicles unattended.
“Again, just a reminder for folks that even for a few seconds, especially with kids in the car, lock your cars, don’t leave them running, take that extra time to take your children out even if you’re just running into the store for a minute — just don’t take that chance,” Deputy Chief Steven Shaw told KESQ.
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