SPI police arrest man who stole car with child inside

Matthew James Chapa // Cameron County Jail Photo

A San Juan man is behind bars after he allegedly stole an SUV where a child was still inside.

South Padre Island police arrested 22-year-old Matthew James Chapa late Saturday night.

Records show that police were called out to the 200 block of West Gardenia Street around 10:15 p.m. Saturday.

The owner of a gold 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander told police that somebody stole his SUV while his child was still inside.

Police were able to locate the SUV with Chapa behind the wheel.

The child was returned safely to her father but Chapa was charged with felony theft and kidnapping.

Chapa remains in custody at the Cameron County Jail.

Court records show that Chapa has a criminal history that includes marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, burglary and aggravated assault.

The 22-year-old San Juan man serving 10 years probation for the aggravated assault at the time of his arrest on South Padre Island.