PD: Victims safe after Mesa car theft, kidnapping

MESA, AZ - Police say a 70-year-old woman and her 1 1/2-year-old granddaughter are safe after a man kidnapped them Thursday morning.

The incident started in Mesa when a woman left her mother and baby in a car at the Food City near Alma School Road and 8th Avenue.

Authorities say while the woman was in the store, Ralph Esposito, 44, got in the vehicle and took off with the victims inside.

Police said the grandmother started opening and closing a car door and sticking her hands out a window, which a Tempe police officer noticed during normal patrol duties.

The officer tried to stop the vehicle, but Esposito went to Interstate 10 and Baseline Road.

The car eventually stopped near Arizona Mills Mall, and the victims were released uninjured.

Police say Esposito is in jail facing two counts of kidnapping, one count of theft and aggravated DUI.

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