Location: Lindsay/Strathmore Areas

Incident Date: 9/6/17

Incident Time: 10:00 a.m.

Case Number: 17-10887

City: Lindsay/Strathmore

Posted by: Dispatch

On 9/6/17, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 24000 block of Road 224 in Lindsay regarding a child abduction report of a 9-monthold infant. The mother identified the suspect as Jose Meza, 30 years of age. 

Jose Meza was known to law enforcement and was wanted on criminal charges in other parts of California and Oregon. Multiple detectives of the Sheriff’s Department were called in to assist in this investigation.

Meza was observed driving and led deputies on a short pursuit, which terminated with him leaving the car on railroad tracks and fleeing on foot. The 9-month-old infant was located within the car unharmed. Meza then forced his way in to a home a short distance away and attempted to take a car without success. As deputies approached this location, he fled again and was able to steal a truck from another residence.

A long pursuit ensued with Meza ultimately crashing the stolen truck in an open field. After an extensive search he was later located and resisted arrest when deputies attempted to take him into custody. He was taken into custody and booked on multiple charges including child endangerment, resisting arrest, trespass of an inhabited residence, evading, and vehicle theft.   

The mother was later arrested for child endangerment, filing a false police report and other charges.

California Highway Patrol air and ground units, a Kern County air unit, U.S. Marshal’s Office, Lindsay Police Department and Porterville Police Department all aided with this investigation.


Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call Detective Franco or Sergeant Heiden at the Tulare County Sheriff's Office at (559) 733-6218 or they can remain anonymous by calling or texting (559) 725-4194 or through email at tcso@tipnow.com.