Woman arrested for stealing car with baby inside

The stolen car (shown here), the alleged car thief, and the kidnapped baby girl were spotted at Grace Resource Center on Sierra Highway, minutes after the crime, authorities said. (Photo courtesy LASD)

Minutes after the crime, the stolen car (shown here), the suspected car thief, and the kidnapped baby girl were spotted at Grace Resource Center on Sierra Highway, authorities said. (Photo courtesy LASD)

LANCASTER – A 42-year-old Rosamond woman was arrested Tuesday afternoon for stealing a car with a baby girl inside, after the child’s mother left the car unlocked with the engine running, authorities said.

Cheryl Horvatin was arrested minutes after the crime when she showed up at a local food bank. Horvatin was jailed on suspicion of kidnapping, vehicle theft and driving under the influence. She also has two prior warrants, according to Lancaster Community Relations deputy Miguel T. Ruiz.

The following is the press release from the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station:

[On Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 2:05 p.m.], deputies responded to a home on the 44000 block of Fern Avenue, initially regarding a stolen vehicle call.

The mother of a 20-month-old female child stated she left the engine running on her unlocked 2000 Volkswagen Beetle while she knocked on the front door of the location to check on the welfare of a friend.

The 20-month-old victim remained seated in the child car seat of the parked car. An unknown female suspect entered the car and drove away.

Minutes following the vehicle theft and kidnapping, Lancaster Station received a call from an employee of the Grace Resource Center at 45134 Sierra Highway, Lancaster, which is a few blocks from Fern Avenue.

The employee said an unknown female came into the center with a child in the car. The employee kept the suspect occupied and immediately called Lancaster Station. Deputies responded and arrested the suspect.

The child was not harmed and returned safely to her mother.

The suspect was identified as Cheryl Horvatin from Rosamond. She was booked for additional charges of driving under the influence, and two other prior warrants. Suspect Horvatin is being held on $50,000 bail.

  10 comments for “Woman arrested for stealing car with baby inside

  1. nononsense
    October 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    The stupid mom shouldnt have left the baby in the car. To run up to the dope house to grab some drugs. Come on in that messedup neighborhood u would leave urbaby for one second for anything….. you are stupid and should have been jailed as well and I agree the crazy ladyneeds help.

  2. Resa
    October 3, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I thought it was ILLEGAL to leave a child in a running car unattended for any length of time even a second!! Both woman should be arrested!!! How stupid to leave your child in a running car!

    • avcares
      October 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      @ Resa…Agree 100%…You don’t even leave a animal in a car, let alone a child in a running car!!!
      Same old story…you need a license to drive a car, but not to have a child…
      She needs Both taken away…..

      So glad for the child that it didn’t turn into a high speed chase and crash…

  3. TakeBackTheCity
    October 3, 2013 at 10:07 am

    She leaves her baby in a running car…. and in less than a minute… some crackhead jumps in the driver’s seat, and takes off with her child.

    NOT EVEN FOR LESS THAN A MINUTE. Come on people.

  4. Danny
    October 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Both women need to go to jail!

  5. Nancy P
    October 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    “not even for a minute”.
    I wonder if her “friend” was okay, or even home. Did she go inside and talk to her friend? Did the police talk to her “friend”? Why would she leave her baby in the car? Nice weather, and the child was old enough to walk. Did the child cry out when the stranger got into the car and drove away? Mine would have been screaming bloody murder.
    I’ll bet there’s more to this story.

  6. Mr. Mister
    October 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks goodness the baby is safe. Having said that, let this be a lesson that you should never leave your child unattended, no matter the circumstances. Before I am blasted for that statement, I am fully aware this occurred in a residential area, but this just goes to show you how bold people are and that this can happen at any moment at any time. Furthermore, $50,0000 bail is far too low, especially for 2 priors, car theft, and kidnapping. Maybe even throw in child endangerment. Kudos to the Grace employee! We need more good samaritans like you.

    • Mr. Mister
      October 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm


    • psyprof73@verizon.net
      October 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      This is why the campaign says: not even for a minute – My children are grown, but my grandchildren are never left in my car, even for a minute. However, I do understand that this mother felt it was safe as long as the car and her baby were within her sight.

    • rita
      October 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      This lady suffers from mental illness.
      And its not kudos to the employee
      I was there while this happend the lady came into grace resource and said someone call the sheriff department this lady just left her child in the car.
      She was wrong to take the baby ,but i believe in her mind when she seen the mom leave the car with her daughter most likely for to long , she came to seek help at a place where she knew people.and she called herself to the station.
      This mom is really to blame.the lady should be in a mental home though

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