A Los Angeles man who tried to abduct a 9-year-old girl at a Rancho Mirage supermarket, then led authorities on a pursuit that ended in Moreno Valley, pleaded guilty Thursday to kidnapping and evading arrest charges and was immediately sentenced to 17 years and four months in state prison
Roberto Arce Cardenas, 39, tried to pull the girl away from her mother while the pair were shopping at a Gelson's market at 11:40 a.m. on Aug. 16.
After employees helped separate Cardenas from the child, he took off in a silver Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, which the mother and store employees helped identify, Capt. Jason Huskey said. The SUV had been left idling in the fire lane outside the market during the kidnapping attempt, according to court documents, and was later spotted in the parking lot of a Walmart on Monterey Avenue in Palm Desert.
Cardenas refused to pull over, triggering a pursuit that ended around 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Cottonwood Avenue and Graham Street in Moreno Valley. An unloaded rifle and methamphetamine were found in his possession where he was taken into custody. Charges related to the gun and drugs were dismissed at sentencing.
Cardenas has no other felony convictions in Riverside County, but has prior Los Angeles County convictions for robbery, firearm possession and vehicle theft, court records show.
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