SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A 31-year-old man was arrested Thursday for stealing a pickup truck and left it outside a northeast San Antonio Jack in the Box Wednesday with the victim’s one-year-old child inside.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said the truck was taken from the 7200 block of Celestial Moon at around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“According to the suspect, he made it about four blocks down when he looked in the rear view mirror, say a baby, and realized this was not your normal auto theft,” Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters.
1-year-old recovered from stolen pickup truck in Bexar County
The suspect, Derling Esparza, pulled into the parking lot of the Jack in the Box on Foster Road and called the restaurant to say there was a car outside with a baby inside it.
“This suspect, interestingly enough, told us this was a crime of opportunity,” Salazar stated. “He just happened to be driving through the neighborhood and saw a vehicle that was running.”
The sheriff said Esparza had been described to him as a professional car thief.
“The door was open. He saw the opportunity. He jumped out of the car that he was in and stole it.”
In fact, Esparza told investigators it would have been a great day for business had he had more people with him.
“He actually made mention of the fact that if he had more people with him, they could have stolen upwards of 12 vehicles that morning, just driving around,” Salazar relayed. “He asked us to pass the message to the public that’s why people should not leave vehicles unattended with doors open like that and the keys in the ignition.”
Esparza is now facing auto theft and child endangerment charges.