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Woman’s car stolen from Victorville gas station with 18-month old child inside

VICTORVILLE, Calif. ( — A man was arrested after stealing a woman’s car from a Victorville gas station while an 18-month-old child was still inside.

It happened on May 3, 2019 at the Berri Brothers gas station located in the 15400 block of Palmdale Road, near the I-15 freeway in Victorville.

Sheriff’s officials said at about 9:31 pm., the 49-year-old victim and her granddaughter drove to the gas station to make a purchase.

“She parked approximately five feet from the walk-up window and went to make her purchase. While at the window she saw a man get in her car and begin to drive away, with her 18-month old granddaughter still in her car seat in the back of the vehicle,” stated a sheriff’s news release.

According to the release, another customer at the station saw the incident and began to follow the suspect, at a safe distance, to help deputies locate the child.

Deputies located the suspect and stopped him in the area of Maple Avenue near Yucca Street in the City of Hesperia.

The suspect was identified as Alber Jimenez Melara, 19, a resident of Victorville.

He was arrested and booked at the High Desert Detention Center for kidnapping and vehicle theft.

Officials said the child was evaluated at the scene by medical personnel and returned unharmed to her grandmother.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Deputy O. Romero at the Victorville Police Department at (760) 241-2911 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760) 956-5001. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at

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