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Felon accused of stealing vehicle with toddler inside to stand trial

DHSPD

A convicted felon accused of stealing a vehicle with a toddler inside in Desert Hot Springs was ordered today to stand trial on kidnapping and other felony charges.

Yadira Dolores Flores, 31, of Desert Hot Springs is charged with kidnapping, wilful child cruelty, vehicle theft, receiving a stolen vehicle and sentence-enhancing allegations of committing an auto theft with priors.

Full Story: Mom of kidnapped Desert Hot Springs toddler thought she ‘was never going to see him again’

During her preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center on Friday, sufficient evidence was provided for Flores to stand trial on all charges and sentence-enhancing allegations and she was scheduled for a post-preliminary hearing on Nov. 29.

Officer Christopher Tooth of the Desert Hot Springs Police Department testified Friday that, although Flores did not initially know a child was in the car when she stole it, she lacked any empathy for the child and told Tooth the child "wasn't her responsibility."

Prosecution attorney Garrett Behrens asserted that Flores knowing a child was in the vehicle and her choice to do nothing knowing full well that the child, an infant, was too young to do anything about it, amounted to kidnapping.

Flores, who remains in custody at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning on $100,000 bail, was arrested Oct. 12, 2020 at 1:15 a.m. in Cathedral City, about three hours after she allegedly stole the vehicle with the child inside, according to Desert Hot Springs police.

Police said the child's mother reported her car was stolen from in front of a business in the 13700 block of Palm Drive at about 10:15 p.m. the day prior, and her child was inside. Several neighboring law enforcement agencies responded to assist in the search, and an Amber Alert was issued to find the child.

Three hours after the car was stolen, a pedestrian walking in the 67500 block of Ramon Road in Cathedral City saw a car parked in an open field matching the description of the vehicle in the Amber Alert. She approached and saw a child in the backseat and called 911, authorities said.

Cathedral City police officers patrolling the area of Sarah Street and Agua Caliente Trail saw a woman -- later identified as Flores -- matching the suspect's description and took her into custody.

City News Service

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