ALTON - At 7:27 p.m. on Friday, March 26, 2021, Alton Police Department Patrol Officers responded to the 700 block of Spring Street, as it was being reported that a vehicle had just been stolen from 735 Spring St. in Alton. As of today, a suspect has been apprehended and charged in the case.
The Alton Police Department learned that a woman had been driving her gold, 2001, Chevrolet Venture van, and briefly went inside 735 Spring St. While the woman was inside 735 Spring St., her 3-month-old son was still inside the van. When the woman walked out of 735 Spring St., she discovered her van and her infant son were missing.
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The suspect was taken into custody at 4:09 p.m. Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the area of the first block of West Delmar Ave. The suspect was determined to be in a vehicle, and he exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot from officers. After a foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody by the Alton Police Department. Additional physical evidence was located during the arrest that linked the suspect to this investigation. Alton Police Chief Marcos Pulido said the suspect will not be formally identified as he is a juvenile.
"He lives in Alton and this investigation revealed that he alone stole the vehicle," Chief Pulido said.
Alton Police Detectives, despite having minimal leads, passionately worked on this case throughout the weekend. After several days and nights of work, through interviews and obtaining additional evidence, which included forensic evidence, a suspect was able to be identified. As a result of the investigation, the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office charged the suspect, a 15-year-old juvenile male, with the following offenses:
Offenses Related to Motor Vehicle
“I would like to thank everyone who shared the AMBER Alert information,” Chief Pulido said. “I am extremely thankful for the community member who located the infant and ensured he had to suffer no further harm. Her actions were truly lifesaving. I am extremely proud of my detectives whose tireless, extraordinary efforts were able to identify suspect, secure criminal charges, and ensure that justice is sought for the infant and his family.”
The woman involved in the situation of the missing child immediately called the Alton Police Department. The Alton Police Department alerted surrounding law enforcement agencies of this information and an AMBER alert was subsequently issued. Several Alton Police Officers and Detectives with the Alton Police Department Criminal Investigations Division(CID) began investigating this case, which included attempting to locate the infant and the stolen van. During this investigation, items from the stolen van were located behind a house in the 1100 block of Highland Avenue.
As the search continued, the stolen van was located near the area of Wescott Street and Central Avenue in Alton. At that point, the infant had not been located and officers continued their search for him. As officers continued to search, at about 11:37 p.m.., officers were alerted that a community member had found an infant in the area of Common Street and Elliott Street in Alton.
Officers arrived on the scene and learned that the community member was aware of the AMBER alert and began driving around the area to help look for the stolen vehicle and infant. While driving in the area of Common Street at Elliott Street, the community member heard a sound that was determined to be crying. The community member followed the sound of the crying and found an infant lying in a ditch. The infant was determined to be the child taken in the stolen van.
Officers arrived and assessed the infant who was very cold to the touch. Alton Fire Department paramedics were summoned to the scene and the infant was transported to a local hospital, where, thankfully, he was found not to have any severe injuries.
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