OCEANSIDE, Calif. – A man stole a car with two young children inside in Oceanside Sunday, and the kidnapping ended with his arrest, the Oceanside Police Department said.
Around 7:52 a.m., police received a call that someone’s vehicle was stolen with her two young children in the backseat near the 400 block of North Freeman street, according to Jennifer A. Atenza, the public information officer for Oceanside police.
Roughly 17 minutes later, another person called police to say that a man had dropped off two children in front of her home at the 1700 block of Laurel Road and then sped away.
When officers arrived at Laurel Road, they confirmed the children were those who were aboard the vehicle when it was stolen, Atenza said. The kids were safely reunited with their family.
Twelve minutes later, an Oceanside police officer spotted the stolen vehicle in the area of Geneva Street and Via Los Rosas. Police said Juan Mendieta, 30, of Oceanside was driving the vehicle at the time.
When backup arrived for the officer, they conducted a high-risk traffic stop. Mendieta was not cooperating with officers but law enforcement was still able to take him into custody without further incident, Atenza said.
Mendieta faces several charges, including two counts of kidnapping, two counts of child endangerment, vehicle theft, resisting arrest and a parole violation hold.