Attempted kidnapping suspect in custody

Suspect had no relation to the child

Grocery store employees stop alleged kidnapping

PALM DESERT, Calif. - An attempted kidnapping suspect has been taken into custody in Moreno Valley after leading police on a pursuit that began in Palm Desert.

Authorities say 39-year-old Roberto Arce Cardenas, of Los Angeles, attempted to kidnap a 9-year-old girl at Gelson's Market on Bob Hope and Gerald Ford. Employees and the girl's mother held on to her as the suspect took off.  

"That caused the suspect to flee because he knew he was outnumbered there," said Captain John Huskey, Riverside County Sheriffs Department.

Employees got a description of the car and the plate number, police then spotted the suspect's car at the Walmart parking Lot on Monterrey.

The silver SUV was located and officers attempted a vehicle stop, the vehicle did not yield and a pursuit began shortly before noon near the Walmart on 34500 Monterey Ave in Palm Desert.

Watch: Attempted kidnapping suspect taken into custody

Cardenas was heading Westbound on the I-10 and changed into the 60 freeway and the pursuit continued in the Riverside area.

Cardenas was finally taken into custody at 1:30 p.m. after exiting off the freeway and into surface streets in Moreno Valley.

The suspect had no relation to the child, he was a complete stranger, Deputies said.

Parents who shop at the Gelson’s were shocked to her such a brazen crime had happened at their local grocery store.

"We can’t be walking around with too much fear but we still have to be aware," said Cheryl Smith, a mother shopping with her family Wednesday afternoon.

"Obviously that is very scary, but it won’t keep me from coming here because that could happen anywhere," said Barbara Platt of Rancho Mirage.

Cardenas, 39, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, evading arrest and being a felon in possession of a firearm and was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, where he was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact Investigator Tom Hendry at 760-836-1600.

Stay with News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 for updates as they come into the newsroom. 

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