Arrest made in kidnapping of 3-year-old child in Merced

Officers responded to the 400 block of West 27th Street for reports of a kidnapping Monday evening at around 6:47 p.m.

Upon arrival, officers said a 3-year-old was taken inside the stolen vehicle. Merced Police officers, California Highway Patrol and the Chowchilla Police Department worked diligently in locating the child.

An Amber Alert was issued at 7:57 P.m., shortly after the alert a citizen called the California Highway Patrol at around 8:35 p.m informing they saw the vehicle matching the Amber Alert on Robertson Boulevard just off Highway 99.

Chowchilla Police Department and the California Highway Patrol responded to the area and located the child, still in the vehicle. Officers had to force entry to the vehicle to rescue the child.

The child was transported back to Merced and reunited with her family. Police say the child was uninjured.

An extensive search was conducted in Chowchilla, California on Monday night but the suspect was not located.

On Tuesday morning at approximately 8:30 a.m, the Chowchilla Police Department called Detective Pinnegar from the Merced Police Department and said they possibly had a suspect in the kidnapping detained.

An off-duty Chowchilla Police Officer who had just gotten off night shift was approaching the Highway 99 entrance from Robertson’s Boulevard when he saw a person matching the vague description of the suspect in the kidnapping.

The off-duty officer contacted a Chowchilla Police Detective, who responded to the area of Highway 99 and Robertson Blvd. where he located 34-year-old Hardev Singh.

Chowchilla Police Department officers detained Hardev Singh and notified Detective Pinnegar of the Merced Police Department.

Merced Police Department Detectives responded to Chowchilla and took custody of Singh. Singh was interviewed by Merced Police Department Detectives and confessed to the crime. Singh provided specific details during the interview that only the suspect would have known.

Singh was booked into the Merced County Jail on charges of kidnapping, carjacking, child endangerment, auto theft and possession of stolen property,

Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Detective Pinnegar at 209-388-7712 or by email at

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