PRAIRIEVILLE — A Prairieville man was arrested in the theft of a vehicle with a toddler still inside, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office reported.
The car was stolen Thursday from outside the Popingo store at the corner of U.S. 61 and La. 427 while the driver was in the store, having left the 1-year-old child sleeping in the back seat, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release issued Friday.
Juan Carlos Funez-Matute, 24, 17797-16 U.S. 61, Prairieville, allegedly stole the vehicle and drove toward Baton Rouge, the release says.
Realizing there was a child in the vehicle, Funez-Matute returned to the store then tried to run away, the release says.
Some people near the store who were aware of the incident assisted in detaining Funez-Matute, who was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail on counts of auto theft and simple kidnapping, the release says.