NewsFlorida News

Actions

1-year-old girl inside stolen SUV in Valrico found safe, says sheriff

Suspect still at large
Tinnley-West-missing-in-stolen-vehicle-FOUND-SAFE (1).jpg
Search-for-stolen-vehicle-HCSO.jpg
valrico stolen car missing child scene.jpg
Posted at 4:01 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 22:12:51-05

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."

missing one year old girl in valrico

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. He is urging the suspect to turn himself in.

"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.

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.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect is urged to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.