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Child Taken in Stolen Auto Reunited with Family

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MERCED – The parents of a three year old girl who was taken with their car as it was stolen were relieved to have their child back home Monday night.

The incident happened at about 6:45pm on the 400 block of West 27th Street, as Melissa Foster was preparing to take her Toyota Corolla to a car wash.

“I took one second just to run back to my porch to grab my purse,” Foster said. “In that split second, my mom saw the car door open and close.”

Someone had jumped into the car and began driving off with it. Melissa’s three year old daughter Jessie Sanchez, or “JJ” as she is affectionately called, was still inside. Melissa chased after the car on foot for two blocks before the vehicle was able to get away.

She believed whoever took her car and her daughter had been watching and waiting for her.

Police searched the surrounding neighborhood for any sign of the the stolen vehicle and the child.

“Commonly when someone steals a car and finds a child inside they (the suspect) will usually abandon the car within three or four blocks,” said Captain Jay Struble with the Merced Police Department. “Unfortunately this was not the case here.”

As time continued to pass with no sign of the car or the child, authorities issued an Amber Alert. Photos of the car and child were posted and shared to social media sites to help the word spread.

At about 8:45pm, the California Highway Patrol received a call from a citizen saying they saw the vehicle parked at a Chevron in Chowchilla. Authorities responded and found the vehicle abandoned with the child inside. Officers had to force entry into the vehicle to gain access, but found the child was unharmed and uninjured.

Detectives with the Merced Police Department, officers with Chowchilla Police and California Highway Patrol, as well as a K-9 from the Merced County Sheriff’s Office searched the area for any signs of a suspect. Monday night there was no word of an arrest.

Captain Struble said investigators were looking at surveillance video from the area, but they can only make out what appeared to be a male figure.

Jessie was brought home and reunited with her family in Merced shortly before 9:30pm. To brighten her spirits, Officer Rogelio Rodriguez bought her lollipops to enjoy on the drive home.

“She was very excited to see her mom and dad when she got back.”

The parents expressed their gratitude for the authorities involved in searching for little Jessie, and thankful for the public and Amber Alert system that made everything in this incident work out.

“Your mind is just a fog in that moment,” the child’s mother said of the two hours waiting while police searched for the girl. “I know she’s so strong and so brave.”

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Bomb Squad Called to Mobile Home Park

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STANISLAUS COUNTY – The Stanislaus County Sheriff Bomb Squad responded to a mobile home park Wednesday afternoon for a report of a suspicious package.

The incident happened on the 8000 block of Jantzen Road. Sheriff deputies responded and temporarily closed off access to the park and evacuated neighboring homes.

The Sheriff Bomb Squad later determined the package to be a box of magnets wrapped in leather. The box was delivered to the residence, however no one had ordered it, according to authorities at the scene.

By 3:15pm, access to the park was re-opened to residents.

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Shooting Victim Expected to Survive

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HUGHSON – Authorities investigated a shooting that injured a 27 year old man Monday afternoon.

The shooting happened shortly before 1:00pm at a mobile home park on Nunes Road, just outside of Keyes. Early reports indicated an argument between a man and a woman had taken place. The report also indicated that the man was trying to enter the woman’s home and she was being attacked.

Deputies found the man in the driveway of the residence suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and was expected to survive.

The involved woman received minor injuries. Authorities do not believe she is the shooter in the case.

Crime scene technicians and investigators responded to examine the scene and gather evidence, however no suspect identity was available Monday afternoon.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Esquivez at (209) 567-4466 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Authorities Capture Amber Alert Suspect Wanted for Murder

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Photo: San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY – Authorities on Saturday announced the capture of D Angelo Webb after acting on a tip.

Webb was arrested after five hours of negotiation with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. A community tip was credited in helping locate Webb on Ambrose Avenue in the city of Bay Point.

Residents in the home where Webb was found were evacuated, while authorities negotiated for his surrender.

Webb was wanted for the murder of 24 year old Brandi Hornsby and attempted murder of her mother. Authorities allege that Webb stabbed Hornsby’s mother on the 3900 block of East Fremont Street in Stockton. Hornsby was found deceased in the home.

An Amber Alert was issued the night of the attack for six week old Ggiana Webb. The child was located safe with a relative within a couple hours the same night.

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