Authorities on Monday arrested a 24-year-old man who allegedly stole a truck with three children inside while their father was in a store in Morgan Hill.
After driving away from the Walgreens at 745 E. Dunne Ave., the man, identified as Caleb Holderfield, eventually ditched the kids, who were not harmed, according to police. He continued driving but later crashed along Highway 101. He was taken into custody without incident at the crash scene, police said.
Police said they responded to the Walgreens at about 6:30 p.m. after getting a call about a possible kidnapping. When they talked to the father of the children, they learned that he parked the truck outside the store and left the children – ages 8, 9 and 13 – inside the truck, which was kept running, while he went inside. When the father left the store, he saw the truck driving away on E. Dunne Avenue toward Highway 101, according to police.
Morgan Hill police alerted neighboring law enforcement agencies about the situation. A short time later, San Jose police said they located the children near Hellyer Park. According to Morgan Hill police, a FedEx driver spotted the children and alerted authorities.
The children were eventually reunited with their parents at the Morgan Hill Police Department.
As authorities searched for the suspect, Morgan Hill police learned that a truck matching the description of the truck that was stolen veered from southbound Highway 101 and rolled over multiple times.
The truck that crashed was indeed the one that had been taken. Holderfield was taken into custody and transported to a hospital to be treated for injuries suffered during the wreck, according to police.
He is being charged with three counts of kidnapping and child endangerment, vehicle theft, driving while under the influence, and driving while suspended, police said.