Prosecutors say 25-year-old Estevan Sanchez is too dangerous to be allowed on the streets. They say there's evidence he knew a child was in the vehicle when he allegedly stole it.
Sanchez declined to attend his first appearance at the jail courtroom, where the judge decided there is enough evidence to hold him until prosecutors file charges. Defendants do not have to be present.
He faces charges of kidnapping and car theft.
Prosecutors say Sanchez has prior convictions for domestic violence against his girlfriend. He has also been charged in the past with violating a no-contact order against her and taking a car without permission. He was also described as a meth addict.
He was arrested after neighbors found the child in the abandoned SUV on a street in White Center about 20 minutes after the father alerted authorities. The baby was unharmed.
Sanchez was allegedly caught on a surveillance camera taking the car seconds after the 10-month-old girl's father walked into a West Seattle convenience store.
Surveillance video provided by the store. Audio commentary provided by store clerk who witnessed event.
Police arrested the suspect not far from where the SUV was found.
Some of Sanchez's relatives arrived at the courthouse, disappointed they did not have a chance to see him in the room. But a cousin told KOMO 4 News Sanchez had no intention to kidnap a baby.
"He went for a joyride. That was it. That was his only intention," said Miguel Sanchez. "That's why he ditched the car, because he seen there was a baby in the back. He's not a dangerous person like that. He would never harm a child."
Miguel Sanchez said his cousin struggles with drug addiction and financial problems.
Police say the baby's father did leave the child unattended in the car. Officers say the father noticed Sanchez climb into the SUV, and immediately shouted his daughter was inside. Sanchez allegedly made eye contact with the father, paused for a couple seconds, and drove off.