A Tucson man who stole a car with a 2-year-old boy still inside, was sentenced to 2½ years in prison Monday.

In December, 20-year-old Anthony Gracia stole a woman's vehicle from an east-side apartment complex, according to Arizona Daily Star archives.

The woman put her son in his car seat and started the car, then remembered she left her laptop in her apartment and went back inside with the vehicle still running, Star archives show.

When she returned, she saw her vehicle leaving and called 911, telling police that her son was inside.

Officers found the woman's vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, during which Gracia got out of the car and ran.

When officers approached the vehicle, they noticed the 2-year-old boy was not inside, but around the same time, police received a separate report from a caller who said that a small boy was wandering down the street alone. Police went to that location and found the boy, reuniting him with his mother. The boy was not harmed, police said.

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Officers located Gracia on the roof of a home in the neighborhood and arrested on charges of kidnapping, child abuse, auto theft and burglary, police said at the time.

Gracia was sentenced to the 2½ years in prison for auto theft, and in a second case, two years of probation, in connection with a felony charge of facilitation to commit auto theft, said Krisanne LoGalbo, a Pima County Superior Court spokeswoman.

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at gknott@tucson.com or 573-4235. 

Metro Producer

Gloria is a Tucson native and attended the University of Arizona. She started at the Star as an apprentice in 2017. Following her apprenticeship, she began freelancing until becoming a full-time reporter and producer after her college graduation in 2018.