After a monitored bait car was stolen around 11:30 a.m. Friday, a Sacramento police officer saw someone driving the vehicle near Tamoshanter Way and Matson Drive.
The officer observed the driver, a 10-year-old girl, try to run away.
"It was a bad judgment call on her end," said Sgt. Andrew Pettit, spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department.
The girl, who was not identified, was returned to her parents.