You are the owner of this article.
Suspect arrested for kidnapping after plucking toddler from shopping cart in Buellton

Suspect arrested for kidnapping after plucking toddler from shopping cart in Buellton

William "Bill" Henderson


A 56-year-old Buellton man suspected of trying to kidnap a 2-year-old child from a supermarket was arrested Tuesday, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said.

William “Bill” Henderson was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of felony kidnapping and misdemeanor child endangerment, with bail set at $100,000.

Henderson, who is listed as the owner of Compass Wine Tours and Luxury Transportation in Solvang, allegedly plucked the child from a shopping cart and headed for the exit of the Albertsons market about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7.

“The mother was in shock for a moment, then realized [what was happening] and ran after him screaming,” sheriff’s Lt. Erik Raney said. “He dropped the child and fled the store.”

Raney said the child and parent were left “clearly distraught” over the attempted abduction.

Henderson was identified using video surveillance from the supermarket.

“As soon as our deputies looked at the surveillance footage, they knew who it was,” Raney said.

Henderson was arrested about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. He was still in custody Wednesday afternoon.

Deputies are looking for additional witnesses to the Aug. 7 incident and are concerned there might be other incidents involving Henderson that have not been reported to law enforcement.

Investigators are asking witnesses with information related to the investigation to call the Buellton Sheriff’s Station at 805-686-8150.

Anonymous tips can be left by calling 805-681-4171 or visiting

The city contracts with the Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement.

This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at


Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News