Mother Reunited with Baby after Truck Theft

February 17th 2008 The 16 year old mother lost her baby and her vehicle at a yard sale on Gettysburg and Maple in east central Fresno Saturday morning.

They were reunited a few hours later, about 3 miles away, at Cornell and Winery.

Fresno police officers were scanning the streets Saturday morning looking for a stolen SUV with a little baby boy in the back. That little boy is home safe now after missing for two hours.

The 16-year old mother received the scare of her life. While shopping at a yard sale in east central Fresno she looked up to see her vehicle taking off down the street.

Her 3-month old was in the back seat. Police investigators say the mother left the keys in the ignition.

Lt. Mark Salazar, Fresno Police, says "Definitely our priority in the city this morning when you have a 3 month old baby don't know where that baby's at."

Lt. Salazar says it was his goal to reunite this family as quickly as possible. After notifying 30 officers to be on the lookout for a white Chevy Avalanche and issuing an amber alert, Salazar got the break he was looking for.

"We got the notification from the suspect. I'd say we were there within two minutes," recalls Lt. Salazar.

The man who stole the vehicle called police to notify them he had the child and gave investigators a location to retrieve the car and the baby.

"When the thief knows that there's a baby in there they stop the car and leave. They don't want any part in that," says Salazar.

The baby was found in good health. A medical team checked the baby before returning him to his mother. Lt. Salazar says there are no plans to charge the mother at this time.

"You know a report is going to be written and then it will be forwarded for review. But right now our goal was to reunite the mother and the 3-month old baby."

Police received a vague description of the suspect, but still have no solid leads. If caught this suspect faces child endangerment and vehicle theft charges.

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