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

Infant, toddler spend night in truck after man arrested in crime spree
Joshua Jaboneta, 34, was arrested by Merced police on suspicion of burglary, vandalism, trespassing and being under the influence of narcotics. (Merced County Sheriff's Department)

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.

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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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