Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office press release:
On 01-30-2020 at approximately 2:59 p.m., deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a reported burglary at a residence in the 2400 block of Road B in Redwood Valley, California.
On arrival, deputies contacted the adult male home owner, who advised them he had returned home and found a 2-year-old female child inside the residence. The homeowner had no knowledge of the 2-year-old child or where her parents were. The homeowner called the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for assistance. After summoning help, the homeowner noticed items missing from his residence.
While en-route to the above location, a deputy was flagged down by citizens in the 3000 block of Road B. The citizens complained that a vehicle had been stolen from the location and a red vehicle had been left at the location. The citizens had no knowledge of who the red vehicle belonged to.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers responded to the residence and took a report for vehicle theft. During their investigation they found several indicators leading them to believe the red vehicle left at the location belonged to Rusti Vassar, a resident of Ukiah.
Contemporaneously, deputies investigating the incident occurring in the 2400 block of Road B, identified the 2-year-old female child as Vassar’s daughter. Through their investigation, deputies developed probable cause that Vassar committed burglary. The deputies issued a stop and arrest broadcast for Vassar.
On 01-30-2020 at approximately 5:36 p.m., a CHP Officer observed the stolen vehicle traveling on Road B. The CHP Officer requested back up, so Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 2700 block of Road B where they assisted CHP with a high-risk traffic stop.
The deputies, along with the CHP Officer, removed four subjects from the vehicle. The stolen vehicle was found to be driven by Vassar and occupied by three adult male passengers.
Vassar was arrested for 273a(a) PC [Willful Cruelty to child], 459 PC [Burglary] and 270 PC [Child Neglect]. The CHP Officer arrested Vassar for the vehicle theft additionally. Vassar was ultimately booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $150,000.00 bail.