SB Co. Sheriff's Office: parental kidnapping suspect arrested, 1-year-old found safe

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Posted at 2:42 PM, Mar 23, 2023

A parental kidnapping suspect has been taken into custody after leading deputies on a pursuit into the city of Santa Barbara on Thursday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's officials say deputies responded to the area of Santa Barbara County Social Services on Camino Del Remedio for a report of a parental kidnapping that had just occurred before 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Deputies spotted the suspect, identified as 39-year-old Sandra Tapia of Canoga Park, fleeing the area in her Audi SUV on Calle Real at Camino Del Remedio where they attempted to stop the car. Officials say Tapia did not stop and lead deputies on a pursuit along southbound Highway 101, exiting on Garden and then through city streets.

Pursuing deputies lost sight of Tapia’s car in the area of W. Pedregosa and De La Vina Street where they ended their pursuit.

Assisting deputies shared information with the Santa Barbara Police Department, which was able to locate Tapia, her car, and a 1-year-old girl in the 200-block of E. Los Olivos Street.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's officials say Tapia was taken into custody at approximately 11:18 a.m. without further incident and will be booked at the Main Jail for kidnapping (felony), child endangerment (felony), evading (felony), and driving under the influence (misdemeanor). Tapia’s bail amount is pending.

The 1-year-old girl was released to Social Services at the scene and was not physically injured according to the sheriff's office.