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Man sentenced for stealing car with 2-year-old boy inside

Posted at 12:51 PM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 20:15:33-04

A man convicted of stealing a car with a two-year-old boy inside in December will spend 2.5 years behind bars.

Anthony Gracia was sentenced to 2.5 years for car theft. He will receive credit fro 182 days served. Gracia also received two years probation for facilitation of committing car theft.

According to Sgt. Pete Dugan with Tucson Police, around 1:30 p.m. Dec. 18 they received a call from a woman who said that her car had been stolen with her son inside the vehicle. 

Officers say the mother had put her son in the car when she realized that she left her laptop inside. While the car was running, she went into her home, grabbed the laptop, and walked back outside to discover her car driving away. She immediately called 911 and police were able to locate the vehicle 8 minutes later near Wilmot.

After a short pursuit, the suspect got out of the vehicle and entered a nearby neighborhood on foot. Officers checked the vehicle and discovered that the child was not inside the car. The neighborhood the suspect ran towards was shut down as officers searched for the child.

At 1:56 p.m. officers received a call about a child wandering near 22nd street unsupervised. Dugan says that the child almost walked into the street. The person who made the call grabbed the child until officers arrived. He was then reunited with his mother and is safe.

Dugan says that after they located the child, they received another call from someone saying they saw a man hiding on top of a roof. That man was the same suspect who stole the car. He has been identified as 20-year-old Anthony Gracia. 

Gracia was taken into custody and originally charged with one count kidnapping, one count child abuse, one count auto theft and one count third-degree burglary.