A couple suspected of stealing a car with a 1-month-old baby in the backseat from outside a Morgan Hill food bank last month is still at-large and police are continuing to ask the public’s help in finding them. Maribel Mejia and Enrique Rocha are likely staying with friends somewhere in the Salinas, Chualar or Los Banos area, police Sgt. Shane Palsgrove said today. They are believed to be driving a dark blue 1988 Toyota Camry with California license plate No. 2HJD721. Both rear windows are covered with what may be black duct tape. “Once we find that car, that would be a huge break,” Palsgrove said.
The couple was seen walking out of the Reach Out food bank at St. Catherine’s Church in Morgan Hill the afternoon of May 31 as the infant’s mother was walking in, police said. The mother, Maribel Corona, had left her baby in her white Infiniti Q45 with the keys in the ignition as she briefly ducked into the food bank, police said. When she came out, the car and her daughter were gone. Several hours later, the car was found by a hiker at Toro Park near Salinas. The baby was safe inside and was reunited with her mother.
Investigators now believe Mejia and Rocha are responsible for stealing the car, according to Morgan Hill police. Corona’s purse was in the car when it was taken, and her credit card was used at a Walmart and a gas station in Los Banos on June 1, police said. Surveillance video from several locations where the card was used show Mejia using the credit card with Rocha and Mejia’s 4-year-old son, police said.
Police have obtained a $120,000 arrest warrant for Mejia, a 33-year-old Chualar resident, on charges of auto theft, kidnapping, child endangerment and possession of stolen property. She is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. No warrant has yet been obtained for Rocha because investigators have not been able to positively identify him, police said.
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