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November 24, 2021

Police: Child Nearly Stolen From Grandfather’s Arms

A woman in her mid-30s is facing a felony child abduction charge after she tried to steal a toddler in Scotts Valley, authorities said.

Several witnesses reported the attempted kidnapping Tuesday, as the woman tried to wrest the 3-year-old girl away from her grandfather, according to the Scotts Valley Police Department.

Witnesses said the woman, identified as Brandi Renee Shelton, claimed the child was her niece and she was going to “take her back,” police said.

“Officers happened to be driving by the parking lot in question at the time of the call and were on scene as the call was being dispatched,” a department spokesperson said on Facebook, Wednesday. “Officers flooded the area seeking the suspect who had fled on foot.”

Shelton was located on Scotts Valley Drive and was intoxicated, according to the post.

Shelton was charged with felony child-stealing and a misdemeanor for public intoxication. She was scheduled to be arraigned in Santa Cruz County Superior Court Wednesday morning.

She was wearing an ankle monitor and was already on felony probation, so police were able to detain her and get an on-call judge to grant a no-bail order, police said.

She is being held in Santa Cruz County Jail, authorities said.

“A special thank you to the witnesses who called in the incident, provided a very detailed description of the suspect and were willing to stay on scene and participate in the in-field show-up,” the spokesperson said in the Facebook post. “The 3-year-old is safe and sound. We are grateful for the effective and expeditious team effort which resulted in the best possible outcome.”

Drew Penner
Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]

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