A Bensenville man who last winter stole a car that had a toddler inside took something more precious than a vehicle, a DuPage County judge told the man at his sentencing hearing Monday.
“You ended up stealing a mother and child’s sense of safety and security,” Judge Daniel Guerin told Adan Ozuna as he sentenced him to six years in prison for possession of a stolen vehicle.
Ozuna, 35, had been charged in the Jan. 10 incident that began about 12:30 a.m. in the parking lot of an apartment building on Irving Park Road in Bensenville. Ozuna took a 2003 Buick Rendezvous that had been left running in the parking lot with an 18-month-old girl strapped into her car seat.
The child’s mother had left the car running as she dropped off her boyfriend and helped the man, who was drunk, back to his apartment, according to authorities. When she discovered her car and child gone, she called police, who conducted a wide search.
The child was found six hours later in the car, which was parked in a driveway about a mile away from the place where the vehicle had been reported stolen.
Ozuna told police that he saw the child in the backseat as he drove off, and in a panicked moment, left the child and vehicle in the driveway of people he knew. Those residents saw the car in their driveway at about 6:45 a.m. and called police.
The child needed some medical attention after spending the night in cold vehicle, but she was not seriously hurt, according to police.
Assistant State’s Attorney Cathy DeLaMar asked the judge to impose the six-year term because Ozuna’s actions could have had dire consequences.
“He left a baby alone in January in the middle of the night in a freezing car,” she said.
Ozuna told police he took the vehicle on impulse because he was looking for a way to provide transportation to his pregnant girlfriend.
“I swear I did not see the child when I took the car,” Ozuna said.