UPDATE: Details of Vidalia kidnapping, car theft arrest released

Local News

UPDATE: 1/21/20 (10:00PM) — Chief Joey Merrill of the Vidalia Police Department is asking residents to always be cautious with their cars when they’re out in town; that it’s often a crime of opportunity.

“I would like to urge everybody to lock their vehicles cause it seems like they’re just checking the vehicles that are unlocked,” said Merrill.

He also says that the training the police department has allowed officers to locate the stolen vehicle quickly and make sure the child was safe.


UPDATE: (1/21/2020) VIDALIA, La. — More details have been released surrounding a car theft and kidnapping arrest on Monday afternoon.

According to the Vidalia Police Department, the incident started at approximately 2:45 PM when a woman called the police department to report that her car had been stolen from the Family Dollar store and that her 2-year-old child was still in the car along with her cellphone.

Police learned that the vehicle left the parking lot and was driving on Carter Street going towards Ferriday. After tracking the mother’s cellphone location, officers determined that the vehicle was at the Delta Fuel Truck and Service station on Highway 425. A near-by officer found the vehicle in the parking lot with the child unharmed and still in its car seat but the suspect had already fled.

Officers found the suspect, now identified as 68-year-old Matthew Watson of Alexandria, walking down Highway 425 near Ferriday. Watson was charged with Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Simple Kidnapping.

Police say that the mother of the child was also charged with Leaving a Child Unattended in a Motor Vehicle.


ORIGINAL: (1/20/2020) VIDALIA, La. — A person has been arrested after police say they stole a vehicle with a small child in the back seat.

According to the Vidalia Police Department, the incident happened this afternoon at the Family Dollar. A parked car with a small child in the back seat was stolen from the store.

Police say that both the child and the car were recovered safely within 15 minutes and that the suspect is in custody.

We will update this article when more information becomes available.

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