A teenage boy has been arrested for an April car theft-turned-child abduction in Albemarle County.
The unnamed suspect has also been identified as the culprit behind not just the April incident but a rash of other car thefts in the area.
County police said Monday that a 17-year-old male had been arrested and charged with six counts of motor vehicle theft, two counts of endangering the life of a child and one count of felony destruction of property.
The 17-year-old is in custody at the Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention Center.
Back on April 4, police responded to a reported theft of a 2011 Kia Sorento in the 4000 block of Cypress Pointe Drive in the Four Seasons area north of Charlottesville.
“The vehicle was occupied by a 4 year old and 2 month old, left unattended by their nanny,” the police department said in a statement at the time.
At 3:33 p.m. that day, police said they received a 911 call to report two abandoned children in the 2600 block of Barracks Road in the Colonnades area.
The police department and the county’s fire rescue team responded to the Colonnades and were able to confirm the identities of both children, who were determined to be OK and were later released to their parents, according to police.
“Shortly after discovering the abducted children, Albemarle County Police located the stolen vehicle abandoned in the 500 block of Burgoyne Road,” according to the April police department statement.
Burgoyne Road is located directly adjacent to the Colonnades.
Albemarle County police said they conducted a search of the area, but no suspects could be found.
Over the course of several weeks, police spokeswoman Bridgette Butynski said, officers were able to track down the suspected thief.
“Through an investigation we were able to arrest him, and through further investigation we were able to link that person to additional car thefts in the area,” Butynski told The Daily Progress on Monday.
Butynski emphasized that while the suspect is a juvenile, that is not a excuse for the serious crimes he is charged with committing.
“This person is 17,” she said. “While technically still a juvenile, they are old enough to know better.”
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