A 1-year-old child has been found safe after a dramatic car theft and arrest of the driver Sunday. Yakima Police Department Capt. Shawn Boyle says police were called to the U.S. Postal Service Office at 205 West Washington Avenue at about 9:45 am Sunday for a report of a stolen vehicle with a child inside.
The driver was inside the post office when the vehicle was stolen
Boyle says when they arrived they found the driver who told them they had gone inside the office and left the child in a safety seat in the back seat of the vehicle. The car was stolen before the driver came back outside. Police immediately issued an Amber Alert for the vehicle as well as contacting authorities throughout the valley.
The child was found safe thanks to an alert citizen
At 11:50 am the child was found unharmed in an alley in Union Gap and reunited with family members. Just minutes before the child was located the vehicle was spotted by a citizen at a store in Sunnyside. Boyle says the man followed the vehicle and suspect driver east bound on I -82 until authorities arrived and chased the driver until he stopped at an underpass near Benton City. The child wasn't in the vehicle and was eventually found after the suspect told officers about the area where he had left the child. Boyle says the child was found unharmed in an alley still sitting in a car seat in the 4000 block of Main Street in Union Gap.
The suspect is from Oregon and may have stolen the vehicle to go home
He describes the suspect as a 33-year-old homeless man from Hermiston Oregon that may have stolen the vehicle to drive back to that area "we'd assume he was traveling somewhere in that direction." Police say he's facing charges of kidnapping and theft of a vehicle. He's being held in the Yakima County Jail. The investigation continues.
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