Ascension Parish, La — An accused car thief is behind bars tonight after he allegedly returned the vehicle he stole because he discovered that a child was in the car.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office reports that the incident occurred during the evening on Thursday, Aug. 9. We’re told the suspect, Juan Carlos Funez-Matute, of Prairieville, stole the vehicle from a store located on the corner of US 61 and LA 427.
Officials say the owner of the vehicle went inside of a store and left his car running with his 1-year-old child sleeping in the back seat. That’s when Funez-Matute allegedly got in the vehicle and took off.
After realizing there was a child in the vehicle, Funez-Matute reportedly returned to the store, parked the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. However, citizens in the area who knew of the incident spotted Funez-Matute and detained him until deputies arrived.
Funez-Matute was arrested and charged with Auto Theft and Simple Kidnapping. He’s currently locked up in the Ascension Parish Jail.