A 5-year-old girl from Las Cruces was in the backseat of a car when it was allegedly stolen by a man.
Victor Castillo, 35, was arrested on Thursday morning after he was stopped by New Mexico State Police while on his way to El Paso, the Las Cruces Police Department said in a news release.
Police said the child’s mother left her 2017 Chevy Cruze running near her home in the 1800 block of Thomas Drive. The child was in the backseat of the car as the mom ran inside her home for a moment.
While she was gone, police said Castillo stole the car.
Officer began to canvass the area immediately and an alert was sent to other law enforcement.
A New Mexico State Police officer spotted the vehicle traveling east on I-10 towards El Paso. The officer followed the car as it exited I-10 near Anthony, N.M. There was a slow pursuit on Stern Road, which ended at Berino Road.
Castilo was arrested and the 5-year-old girl was found unharmed.
Castillo is facing multiple charges, pending the completion of the investigation.
“Police remind motorists to refrain from leaving vehicles unattended while warming up,” police said in the news release. “Children should never be left unattended in a vehicle. And, without question, children should never be left unattended in a running vehicle.”