CHULA VISTA – A man has been arrested on accusations he stole a mother’s car that was parked outside a Chula Vista motel late Wednesday night with a baby boy inside.
The vehicle was later found in National City, with the child safe inside.
According to Chula Vista police, the incident began at 11:30 p.m. at the Days Inn at 699 E St. A woman told police she was checking into a room and briefly left her 18-month-old boy sleeping in her Nissan Maxima in the parking lot.
When she returned to the lot, the car was gone.
Sometime after midnight, National City police dispatchers received a 911 call from a man claiming he had found a car with a child inside about four miles from the Day Inn.
Responding National City and Chula Vista police officers found the missing child and the Maxima. The boy was reunited with his mother.
“At one point, he was patting me on the back like, ‘hey mom, I’m OK,’ so I feel like he is never going to remember this and I hope that he doesn’t,” mother Amanda Bauchman told 10News.
The man who had made the 911 call allegedly later admitted to investigators that he was the car thief.
Twenty-five-year-old Steve Luna was arrested on charges of auto theft and being under the influence of a controlled substance, along with outstanding warrants.