Exclusive: Store owner shocked employee is behind car theft with infant

KING COUNTY, Wash. — “The little boy tell me, Grandma they stole the baby.”

>>Family reunited after car stolen with baby still inside

Ana Torres said her son’s ex left a car running with her 1-week-old baby still inside the vehicle, which was stolen outside an Auburn furniture store on Monday.

Torres, who happens to own the store, said she hires the suspect on a regular basis to do work around the business.

Police have identified him as Jesus Santiago.

Torres said the infant’s mother stopped by the business on Monday to pick up a few things for the baby and her three other kids.

That was when the boy’s mother ran to the restroom, leaving the car running with the baby still inside, Torres said.

Within minutes, Auburn police said Santiago jumped into the car and took off.

When Torres learned he was behind the criminal act, she was shocked. “He is a good worker,” She said. “I [can’t] believe that he did that.”

Santiago took the car on a 12-mile drive from Auburn to Maple Valley, where he was arrested after a K-9 unit took him down.

Once in custody, police said Torres told them he knew the car belonged to the family and intended to use it to run an errand.

He then told them he had no idea there was an infant in the back seat and even considered stopping to get the 1-week-old baby diapers.

Officers said the mother left her cell phone in the car. They were able to contact T-Mobile to ping the phone’s location to help them locate the infant and the stolen vehicle.