VALRICO, Fla. — The 1-year-old girl who was inside an SUV when it was stolen in Valrico has been found safe, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The statewide Amber Alert for Tinnley Sage West has also been canceled.
The sheriff's office said the vehicle, a 2018 silver Volkswagen SUV, was stolen from the driveway of a home just before 3 p.m. in the 2600 block of Green Valley Street in Valrico. The 1-year-old was in her car seat sleeping in the backseat.
"I couldn't be happier or more grateful to stand in front of all of you right now and tell you we just recovered the car with Tinnley West inside and unharmed," Sheriff Chad Chronister said. "Mom is on her way now, anxiously awaiting, to take custody of her young baby."
Sheriff Chronister said the baby's mom ran inside the house and left the car running. She didn't want to wake up Tinnley.
It took less than a minute for the suspect to jump inside that running vehicle and steal the car with the baby in the car, Sheriff Chronister said.
"Where is she? Where's my car with her in it? Where is she? It was just scary, really scary," said Chelsea, the baby's mother.
Deputies were able to find the vehicle which was abandoned at St. Anthony's Methodist Church.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office released a video of a man who was walking in the area when the incident happened. Sheriff Chronister said that man stole the SUV with the baby inside.
On March 17, Sheriff Chronister announced the arrest of 26-year-old Rashad Lamont Mann. He was initially arrested on unrelated burglary charges and DNA evidence linked him to the kidnapping.
His charges include:
- Burglary of an unoccupied dwelling X2
- Felon in possession of a firearm
- Criminal mischief
- Unlawful use of two-way communication device
- Burglary of occupied dwelling X2
- Grand theft third degree ($10,000-$20,000)
- Grand theft firearm
- Armed burglary of a dwelling
- Grand theft third degree ($750-$5,000) X2
- Felony petit theft
- Grand theft motor vehicle
- Kidnapping commit felony
- Child Abuse
"Moments before he stole the car, he was walking through the neighborhood asking people driving by, driving home from work if they could give him a ride," said Sheriff Chronister.
The suspect is described as a thin build Black man wearing a white t-shirt and jeans, the sheriff's office said.
DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS? This person may have more information about the whereabouts of Tinnley Sage West, and the suspect that took off in a Volkswagen SUV with her in it. CALL 813-247-8200 WITH INFORMATION. #SHARE #teamHCSO pic.twitter.com/gPNkf9gyTG— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) February 16, 2021
Sheriff Chronister said the parents are extremely grateful to have their baby girl safe.
"I couldn't imagine. I was in shock...in shock, but Chad and his boys did a good job, got my little girl back," said Jonathan West, the baby's father.
On Wednesday, the sheriff's office found a clearer view of the man believed to be the suspect in a Valrico stolen vehicle and kidnapping case.
TAKE A LOOK: We're getting a clearer view of the man believed to be the suspect in a Valrico stolen vehicle and kidnapping case.— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) February 18, 2021
On Tuesday, an SUV was stolen with a baby inside. Child & vehicle located safely.
If you recognize him, call 813-247-8200 #teamHCSO pic.twitter.com/uQofmhkVir
Anyone who recognizes the suspect is urged to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.