CONCORD, Calif. (KRON) — A woman has been arrested on suspicion of stealing a vehicle with a 1-year-old baby inside in Pittsburg.
Pittsburg police arrested 24-year-old Nataly Ayala after a concerned citizen recognized her as matching the suspect description released by police. She was walking on Habor Street around midnight, according to the citizen.
The theft happened around 5:45 p.m. Police said a father got out of his car to speak with someone, leaving his daughter secured in a car seat in the running vehicle.
That’s when a woman came up and drove off with the vehicle, which was found abandoned about two hours later with the girl safe inside.
Ayala was later identified and placed under arrest for kidnapping and vehicle theft.
She is being held at the Martinez Detention Facility pending review of the case by the District Attorney.
It’s a step toward solving at least one of the two East Bay car thefts Thursday night, both involving babies inside the vehicles.
Concord police confirm that a second car was stolen in the East Bay on Thursday night which also had a baby in it.
Around 10 p.m., a car thief drove off with a vehicle that had a four-month-old baby inside, police said. The baby was found about 20 minutes later.
Both the Concord and Pittsburg police departments are working together to investigate whether the incidents are related.
Concord police said businesses that could provide surveillance footage were mostly closed at the time, so they are attempting to obtain video on Friday morning.
A third similar crime also happened Thursday night about 35 minutes east of Sacramento, KRON4’s sister station, KTXL reports. Two women drove away with a stolen vehicle that had a 7-month-old baby inside. During a police chase, the thief crashed on the side of Highway 193, but the baby was unharmed.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.