A Winter woman faces Sawyer County felony charges of auto theft and abducting two young children who were inside the vehicle at the time she stole it from a grocery store parking lot in Hayward.

After the children’s mother called police, the suspect and vehicle were stopped by an LCO police officer about five miles from Hayward, the suspect was arrested and the children were reunited with their family.

Kristine Marie Doucette, 54, 5038N Ellen St.-No. 108, Winter, is charged with taking and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent and two counts of abducting a child in the incident.

According to the complaint, at 6 p.m. Dec. 27, 2019, a city police officer responded to Subway after a customer reported that a person stole a soda there. The suspect matched the description of the person who was charged with disorderly conduct earlier in the day and was released from custody, and also was a suspect in another theft from a local business.

A few minutes later, a Hayward woman reported that her vehicle had been stolen from the Marketplace parking lot, with her two children, ages 5 and 3, inside. Law enforcement officers searched for the vehicle and an LCO police officer stopped the suspect on Hwy. B just east of Hwy. K and took Doucette into custody. Other officers also responded to the scene.

Both children were “visibly upset” and the younger child was “crying uncontrollably,” the city officer stated in his report. The mother and grandfather came to the scene and the kids were reunited with their mother.

Doucette refused to speak with officers without a lawyer being present. An officer went to the family’s residence and spoke to the kids in the presence of their parents. The older child said they were asleep in the vehicle most of the time. When asked when she noticed something was wrong, she stated it was when she heard sirens and police were there. When asked if the lady driving ever turned around or said anything to them, the girl said she did not.

Doucette was placed on a $1,000 cash bond, with a condition that she have no contact with the children or their immediate family members. She made her initial court appearance Jan. 14, and a preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 22.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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