John Williams and Penny Alexander

John Williams and Penny Alexander (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two people have been arrested after police say they stole a woman's car from a Kroger parking lot -- but that's not all they took.

The woman's 2-year-old child was also in the back seat.

According to court documents, it happened just before 9:45 Monday night in the parking lot of the Kroger in the Pleasure Ridge Park neighborhood, near the corner of Terry Road and Greenwood Road.

Police say they were called to the scene after someone reported that a car had been stolen from the parking lot. 

When officers arrived, they found a woman who told them that the suspects had not only stolen her car, but also her 2-year-old who was in the back seat. She provided them with a description of the man who took the car, as well as a woman who was with him.

Police say they eventually found the vehicle -- a 2006 black Hyundai Tucson -- abandoned in a parking lot near the corner of Lower Hunters Trace and Hess Drive. It is not clear from the court documents if the child was still in the vehicle at this time.

According to arrest reports, police eventually identified the female suspect as 45-year-old Penny Alexander. When confronted, Alexander said she did not know her accomplice, who actually stole the car, but she was able to provide a description.

Police say a K-9 was able to get a track from the abandoned vehicle that led all the way to a nearby home on Lower Hunters Trace. The home owner allowed officers to search the house, and police say they found 45-year-old John Williams in a back bedroom. 

Williams matched the description that Alexander provided, according to court documents.

When questioned, police say Williams admitted to taking the vehicle because he "needed a ride."

"He stated he did not know the child was in the vehicle until he turned on Lower Hunters," the arrest report states. "When he noticed the child inside the vehicle, he stopped and abandoned the vehicle."

According to the arrest report, Williams said he then ran inside the home and tried to "change his appearance" so he wouldn't be caught.

Police say a jacket found inside the home contained the victim's wallet and ID.

Williams' actions, "created a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury for the child when he fled." He was arrested and charged with kidnapping a minor, theft by unlawful taking of an automobile, second-degree wanton endangerment and tampering with physical evidence.

Alexander was re-questioned about the crime, but this time her story was different, according to police. In her second statement, police say she admitted to knowing Williams and to speaking with him about getting a ride before the vehicle was stolen.

Police say they also found stolen property in her purse.

Alexander was arrested and charged with complicity to kidnapping of a minor, complicity to theft by unlawful taking of an auto, complicity to second-degree wanton endangerment and complicity tampering with physical evidence.

Both are currently being held in Louisville Metro Corrections.

Information on the condition of the 2-year-old is not immediately available.

This story will be updated.

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