Infant still buckled in when 2 women steal vehicle in Auburn, crash during chase

Local News

(Photo Courtesy: Placer County Sheriff’s Office)

AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) — An infant was still inside a vehicle when two women stole it Thursday morning outside a day care center in Auburn.

It all started outside Cris’s WeeCare near Highway 49 and ended in a crash on Highway 193 in Newcastle.

The owner of the day care told FOX40 he and his wife were traumatized by what happened.

Both the owner and investigators said around 7:30 a.m., a parent arrived to drop off one of their kids. They apparently went inside for a brief moment, leaving their 7-month-old inside the car parked outside.

That’s when Placer County Sheriff Lt. Nelson Resendes said two women, later identified as 29-year-old Roniqua Wartson and 23-year-old Anastacia Andino, jumped in the car and took off, with the infant still in the back seat.

After receiving multiple 911 calls, Placer County deputies located and chased the suspects in the stolen vehicle down Highway 193 until Wartson, the driver, crashed on the side of the highway, knocking down a utility pole.

Andino was arrested at the site of that crash. Wartson, who took off running into nearby woods, was arrested about 30 minutes later.

The CHP released aerial video of Wartson’s capture.

The baby, who was restrained in a car seat during the entire ordeal, was checked out at a local hospital and is doing fine.

One of the women was reportedly taken to the hospital for unknown injuries.

Samantha Howard, who lives right behind the day care, said the neighborhood is normally very quiet and friendly, and two women stealing a car with a baby inside is completely out of character. 

“I was born and raised in Grass Valley and I didn’t even really know that a neighborhood like this existed right off 49. So you would assume that whoever was doing this probably lives right down the road,” Howard said.

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