A man who police said stole an SUV with a 3-year-old boy inside appears in federal court for the first time Friday afternoon.
Pedro Valdes, who eluded investigators for more than a day, also is accused of robbing two banks, one on the same day as the theft of a car with 3-year-old Daniel Rivero inside and another on July 13.
Police said Valdes dropped Daniel off at a TD Bank near another bank he is accused of robbing. The child was unharmed.
"His reign of terror is over," said Detective Eddie Rodriguez, of the Hialeah Police Department.
Police said they found Valdes, 48, hiding in a Miami hotel room Thursday night and took him into custody.
Daniel was with his parents in Hialeah on Wednesday afternoon when they pulled over to visit an ice cream truck. Police said that when Daniel's father got out of their SUV, Valdes jumped in and drove off with the vehicle and Daniel. The ice cream truck driver tried to follow, but soon lost sight of the SUV. Daniel was found at the bank a short time later.
Police identified Valdes as a suspect from a surveillance photo at one of the banks. Tips led them to Valdes at the hotel.
Daniel's mother called Valdes a "delinquent" and said she is glad he is in jail.