Police have arrested a man who they said stole a car with two children inside in downtown Mountain View on Christmas and then drove the vehicle to Palo Alto.
Mountain View police received a call at about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday from a woman who reported that her Toyota sedan was stolen from the area of West Dana and Castro streets, according to a news release from the Mountain View Police Department. She said that she had parked the car and had run quickly into a grocery store to pick up some food while her two daughters, ages 7 and 13, remained inside.
While she was in the store, a man who was also inside the store entered her car Toyota and began to drive away. The two girls, who were in the back seat, began to scream and the man reportedly told them to leave the vehicle, according to the news release. Once they did so, he drove away, police said.
Mountain View police tracked the car to the Ventura neighborhood in Palo Alto, where he was arrested at about 8 p.m. They detained the man at Wilton Avenue and Orinda Street, about a block away from El Camino Real, without incident, according to the news release.
The 28-year-old man is a transient with no permanent address, according to the police. He was booked into the Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of carjacking, felony child endangerment and kidnapping, as well as for having several outstanding warrants.
"I am very proud of the quick work of our dispatchers and our patrol teams last night, and I am grateful no one was hurt in this incident," Mountain View Police Captain Scott Nelson said in a news release. "Kudos to all who helped peacefully resolve this scary situation so quickly."
Editor's note: Palo Alto Online's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the district attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. Read our guidelines.