Suspect in theft of car with 2-year-old inside arrested in Tiburon
Updated: Jan 30
A man suspected of stealing a car with a toddler inside was arrested last week after allegedly dropping the child in San Leandro, ditching the vehicle in Strawberry and hoofing it three miles into Tiburon.
The 34-year-old Oakland resident was booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on Jan. 23 and later charged on felony counts of child abuse, vehicle theft and receiving stolen property. He pleaded not guilty Jan. 26 and was scheduled for another hearing today, Jan. 31, according to jail records.
The alleged incident began in Oakland, where about 3 p.m. Jan. 23 police received a report from a woman who said a man stole her car near the Coliseum and her 2-year-old son was inside.
The boy was soon found wandering the streets near a warehouse in San Leandro after callers reported seeing a child dropped off and left alone, Marin sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Adam Schermerhorn said.
Later that night, about 7 p.m., the woman called Marin authorities to say she and her family had been using Apple’s Find My Phone tracking app on her iPhone — which was taken with the car — and that she believed her vehicle was parked at the Strawberry McDonald’s on the Redwood Highway frontage road.
Schermerhorn said the woman’s family had come to Marin and was trying to find the phone using their apps while she worked with police from a landline.
Sheriff’s deputies found the empty vehicle in the lot about 7:15 p.m. and reviewed the restaurant’s surveillance videos, which showed the car had arrived shortly after 6 p.m. and that two people — a man and woman — had left it behind. With video of the pair, authorities had descriptions and began searching the area with the help of the Tiburon Police Department and detectives from Marin’s Coordination of Probation Enforcement unit.
The Find My app had since put the woman’s iPhone around Tiburon Boulevard and Greenwood Cove Road, across from The Cove shopping center, before authorities found two people reportedly matching the video at a bus stop at Rock Hill Road, near the Belvedere Tennis Club. They were detained by Marin sheriff’s deputies and turned over to Oakland police.
The woman was detained and released, but Oakland cops took the car to investigate for additional evidence.
This story has been updated.