Video surveillance and DNA evidence led to the arrest of a Modesto man who allegedly stole a car in Oakdale that had a young child inside last fall.
The incident happened Oct. 30 on Cindy Drive in the Burchell Hill neighborhood of Oakdale, according to a press release from the Oakdale Police Department.
A 6-year-old boy was secured in a car seat in the back of a Toyota 4Runner, parked in a driveway, when his mother briefly stepped out of the vehicle to clean up after the child had been sick.
When she got out, the suspect jumped in the vehicle and fled, according to Oakdale police. The suspect let the child out of the vehicle about a half mile away and left the scene in the stolen 4Runner, police said.
Neighbors brought the child back to his mother, and the 4Runner was recovered four days later from a parking lot on Dale Road in Modesto.
Oakdale police partnered with private forensic technicians from the Serological Research Institute Forensic Lab in Richmond to help sift through evidence.
Evidence including video surveillance footage from the neighborhood, various forensic examinations and DNA processing led to the identification of suspect Tyler Newman, 25, of Modesto.
Authorities learned that Newman was serving time in prison on unrelated charges of grand theft and felony evading related to an incident in Sonoma County.
He was transported to the Stanislaus County Jail last week to face charges in connection with the Oakdale incident. His charges include kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking, child endangerment and auto theft.