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The Alton Police Department on Wednesday announced charges in a vehicle theft case in which a teenage suspect is accused of stealing a vehicle with a 3-month-old child inside.

At approximately 7:27 p.m. Friday, Alton patrol officers responded to  the 700 block of Spring Street for a report that a vehicle had just been stolen.  

Officers learned a woman had been driving her gold, 2001, Chevrolet Venture van and briefly went inside a residence. While the woman was inside the residence, her 3-month-old son was still inside the van. When the woman walked out of the residence, she discovered her van and her infant sonwere missing. She 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. 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 and Elliott streets. Officers arrived on 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 crying sound. 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.

Alton detectives, despite having minimal leads, passionately worked 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. 

The suspect was taken into custody at about 4:09 p.m. Tuesday in the firstt block of West Delmar Avenue. The suspect was determined to be in a vehicle, and he exited the vehicle and attempted to flee from officers. After a foot pursuit, officers arrested the suspect. Additional physical evidence was located during the arrest that linked the suspect to this investigation. The suspect will not be formally identified because he is a juvenile. He lives in Alton and this investigation revealed that he alone stole the vehicle. 

As a result of the investigation, the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office charged the suspect, 15, with attempted murder, kidnapping and offenses related to motor vehicle.

“I would like to thank everyone who shared the AMBER Alert information,” Police Chief Marcos 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 a suspect, secure criminal charges, and ensure that justice is sought for the infant and his family.”

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