BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — We're continuing to follow the story of a mother and her child who were nearly abducted at a Walmart parking lot. The crimes took place at this Walmart on 6225 Colony Street around 2 p.m. on Monday.
21-year-old Autumn Padilla and 28-year-old Manuel Sepeda are the two people who were arrested for the attempted kidnapping of a one-year-old and the assault to the child's mother.
“The suspects had initially asked her for a number of things, cigarettes and for a ride,” said Nathan McCauley, BPD Sergeant.
“When the victim refused, one suspect got angry and he struck the victim and mentioned taking the child away from her and he reached out and tried to grab for the child,” said McCauley.
According to the Kern County records both suspects Padilla and Sepeda have criminal charges.
Padilla has two dating back to 2016. Sepeda has a total of seven charges, one was dismissed regarding child negligence.
Bakersfield Police says the victim was able to get away with minor injuries and the child was unharmed.
“Since the beginning of 2018, about 18 months there have been about eight reports of an attempt of kidnapping reports and most don’t involve strangers,” McCauley said. “Usually, there are other factors such as domestic violence.”
According to a records search of both, Padilla and Sepeda have faced previous criminal charges.
Padilla has two dating back to 2016. And Sepeda has a total of seven charges, one was dismissed regarding child negligence. Bakersfield Police says the victim was able to get away with minor injuries and the child was unharmed.
McCauley says that attempted kidnappings that involve strangers usually were property crime thefts, where kidnapping wasn’t the original attempt.
BPD arrested both suspects a few miles away, on Elaine Street, near the Valley Plaza.
23 ABC is told by Walmart's Hazard Assistant Protective Personnel that the attempted kidnapping took place near the back of the Walmart parking lot.
These devices known as Lot Cops, are hoisted with cameras, helped assist in the investigation. 23 ABC is told this is a new safety measure Walmart has placed at their stores. This one here was installed just a month ago.
BPD also wants to remind parents what to do if faced in a similar situation.
“As you are approaching your vehicle if you see something suspicious or out of line, don’t hesitate to go back into the store and ask someone for help," Carina Ortiz, Community BPD relations supervisor Specialist.