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Infant, toddler spend night in truck after man arrested in crime spree

Infant and toddler spend night in a pickup after man responsible for them is arrested

An infant and a toddler spent the night strapped in their car seats after the man responsible for them was arrested in connection with a crime spree in the Central Valley, authorities said.

The 3-year-old and 10-month-old children were found about 10 a.m. Wednesday, “conscious, awake but cold” inside a pickup in Merced and were taken to a hospital, said Merced Police Department Lt. Chris Goodwin.

About 12 hours earlier, the man responsible for the children -- Joshua Jaboneta -- was arrested on suspicion of burglary, vandalism, trespassing and being under the influence of narcotics.

Authorities say Jaboneta, 34, led police on a nearly three-hour pursuit, with residents in the 100 block of West 18th Street in Merced reporting him vandalizing their apartments.

At one point, police said, Jaboneta grabbed a woman inside an apartment, then released her, saying she wasn’t the person he was looking for. 

Two businesses a few blocks away reported a man trying to break in, then fleeing.

Jaboneta, listed in jail records as a resident of North Las Vegas, was arrested in an alleyway where he was trying to break into a car, Goodwin said.

Police learned about the two children after an out-of-state family member who heard about the arrest called to ask about the whereabouts of the children.

Jaboneta is being held on about $102,000 bail at a Merced County jail, and additional charges of child endangerment have been added, Goodwin said.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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