Woman accused of stealing vehicle with 2-year-old inside pleads not guilty

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman accused of stealing a vehicle with a 2-year-old boy inside pleaded not guilty Friday to charges including kidnapping.

Melissa Peterson, 31, was ordered held on $100,000 bail and is due back in court Nov. 10.

Peterson was arrested Wednesday after witnesses reported a woman in the area of Di Giorgio and South Fairfax roads trying to hand a child to passersby, deputies said.

According to sheriff’s officials, Peterson matched the description of a woman who a short time earlier stole a vehicle in the area of Niles Street and Sterling Road with a child inside. The vehicle was recovered and the child returned unharmed to his mother.

There does not appear to be a connection between Peterson and the victims, officials said.

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