HOLLY HILL, Fla. (WFLA) – A 16-year-old boy was arrested Sunday after he allegedly stole a vehicle while a toddler was still asleep inside the car last week.
On June 1, a family and their 3-year-old son stopped at a relative’s home to quickly grab something. The parents said they left their sleeping toddler inside the car while they went inside. But when they came out, their Volkswagen Tiguan was gone, along with their child.
According to the Holly Hill Police Department, after the vehicle was stolen, the child was found about 30 minutes later, approximately a half mile from where the car was taken.
Police said video footage showed the alleged 16-year-old remove the child from the vehicle and left him on the side of the road. The young boy was not harmed during the incident.
A few days later, on Sunday evening, the vehicle was spotted by an officer with the South Daytona Police Department. After spotting the vehicle, the officer attempted a traffic stop, but the 16-year-old driver refused to stop and “fled from the area at high speed.”
HHPD said that the 16-year-old proceeded to drive north into the City of Daytona Beach. He was ultimately apprehended without incident in a parking lot in Daytona Beach.
According to the police department, the teen has not been charged with kidnapping and child neglect at this time as their investigation continues. The vehicle is also being processed by crime scene technicians with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
“While our investigation into this incident continues, I would like to thank our residents who provided helpful information, our media and law enforcement partners, and everyone who offered their prayers and support for the safe return of the child,” Holly Hill Police Chief Jeffrey Miller said in a statement.
Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to call Sergeant Tom Bentley at 386-248-9478 or Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-TIPS.