North County man pleads guilty to stealing car with baby inside

ESCONDIDO, Calif. —¬†An ex-con who stole a car, with a 6-month-old baby inside, from an Escondido shopping center pleaded guilty Monday to felony auto theft and was immediately sentenced to four years in state prison.

Anthony Guerrero, 31, entered his change of plea during a hearing at the Vista courthouse. He also admitted that he was convicted of robbery in 2009 and 2015, said Deputy District Attorney Nicolette Estrada.

Dispatchers received a call from the baby’s mother at 10:06 p.m. on Dec. 4 saying that her Mercedes-Benz sedan was stolen from outside a 99 Cents Only store at the Civic Center Plaza Shopping Center on North Escondido Boulevard. She said her 6-month-old child was in the vehicle.

A short time later, a police officer spotted the Mercedes in a parking lot in the 1200 block of North Escondido Boulevard, less than two miles from the shopping center where the car was taken, said Escondido police Sgt. Suzanne Baeder. As the officer approached, the suspect — later identified as Guerrero — got out of the car and ran, but he was taken into custody after crossing the street and the baby was found inside the car unharmed, Baeder said.

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