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.
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