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Scene of car theft gets ugly, ends in arrest
Ceres Cop Car

A multitude of officers responded to a frantic report of a car stolen with an 8-year-old child inside on Tuesday, Feb. 16 only to find out that no child was involved. To add to the confusion, an angry party greeted the first officer which led to the arrest of the husband of the victim after he became belligerent.

The theft of the Honda Civic was reported at 9:54 a.m. outside the Wing Stop at 1515 Mitchell Road. The owner of the car reported her vehicle had just been stolen with an 8-year-old child inside, said Ceres Police Department spokesman Lt. Chris Perry. Thinking a kidnapping was involved, police sent all of its resources to the location despite the fact that the woman seemed uncooperative with the dispatcher. Officer Mike Vierra was first on scene and met by a crowd in front of Wing Stop that was hostile toward hm. Those who confronted the officer included a teenager, the victim and her husband, said Lt. Perry. They continued to yell irately at the officer while providing no detailed information on what took place. At one point officers had to wrestle Nicholas Villea, 42, to the ground and arrest him for obstructing police.

Lt. Perry said the true story was that the woman had gone into the hair salon for a haircut but left her keys in the ignition with her 16-year-old daughter sitting in the car. The teen was listening to the stereo and concentrating on a cell phone when a man got into the driver's seat. The daughter believed that the male was her dad and gave it no attention until he backed the car out of the parking stall. She tuned to look and that's when she noticed the man was a stranger. She jumped out of the car unscathed. The suspect, described as a white male adult with shoulder length hair and tattoos on the back on neck, hit a parked car before escaping southbound behind the commercial center and presumably exited the parking lot onto southbound Mitchell Road. Lt. Perry said it's unknown why the woman lied about an 8-year-old.

A sergeant questioned Villea as to why he was giving police a hard time and said he was just upset.

The Honda had not been located as of press time.