SEBRING, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities say a woman was charged with kidnapping after a car was stolen in Sebring with the owner’s two children inside.
The incident happened while the children’s mother was inside the Subway at 6225 U.S. 27 North.
The mother told deputies she parked the vehicle where she could see it, and left it running. She didn’t see anyone get into the car, but saw it leaving the parking lot with her two boys, ages 2 and 6-months-old still inside.
According to deputies, the suspect, Shauna Marie McGraw, drove the vehicle a short distance, then abandoned it, along with the children, behind an area business. The children were not harmed during the incident.
Nakeem Brown, a Walmart loss prevention officer who used to work for the sheriff’s office saw McGraw running on the highway, notified deputies and followed her until they arrived and took her into custody.
“I want to thank Nakeem Brown for his assistance,” said Sheriff Paul Blackman. “Not only did he call us when he saw the suspect, he went above and beyond and followed her, leading deputies to her location. The deputies of Charlie Squad did a great job of responding to this and resolving it so quickly, and I am very proud of the work they did.
Deputies said McGraw was aware the children were inside the car. She told deputies she had an argument with her fiancé while at the adjacent Shell gas station and needed to “get away,” according to the report.
McGraw, 36, was arrested and charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of child neglect without great bodily harm and one count of grand theft of a motor vehicle.