TITUSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man was arrested Monday after he allegedly stole a woman’s car while she was trying to take her children for their first day of school.
The Titusville Police Department said the woman was trying to get the children into her Kia Soul around 7:30 a.m. when Santiago Junior Pena, 43, of Daytona Beach hopped off his bicycle and got into the car.
Surveillance video showed the woman scream as the man made off with the vehicle.
Minutes after the woman’s 911 call, police found the stolen car near the intersection of Cheney Highway and Barna Avenue. Police said officers tried to initiate a traffic stop, but Pena sped off recklessly and crashed the car.
Pena tried to run away from the scene but was taken into custody in a wooded part of the city, according to the department.
“This crime against a mother and her children will not be tolerated in our city,” said Criminal Investigations Sergeant Timothy Werring. “Our vigilant officers worked skillfully and urgently to take this criminal into custody.”
Pena was charged with grand theft, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, leaving the scene of a crash with damage, driving with a suspended license with knowledge, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia.