HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has obtained new video of the man believed to be the suspect in a stolen vehicle and kidnapping investigation of Tinnley Sage West on Tuesday.
Tinnley Sage West was located inside her parents’ stolen Volkswagen SUV at the St. Andrews Methodist Church at Bryan Road and Bloomingdale Avenue three miles from where she was kidnapped in Valrico.
The sheriff said the man seen in surveillance footage from a homeowner’s front porch was walking around the neighborhood asking people for a ride.
Deputies describe the suspect as a young black male with a thin build, was last seen wearing a white and black sweatshirt, light blue denim jeans, black sneakers, and a face covering.
Chronister believes that same person eventually stole the SUV that was parked in a driveway while Tinnley’s mom was helping her mother-in-law unload groceries. Chronister said Tinnley was asleep in the back seat.
“We are committed to finding this individual who caused panic and fear for a family and an entire community by carelessly stealing a vehicle with an infant inside,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “This surveillance video could be the key to helping us locate the suspect. We’re asking the public to take a close look and share the video with others.”
Chronister said the focus of the sheriff’s office has turned to locating the individual who stole the vehicle and kidnapped the toddler.
“It was really scary, but she’s okay. She’s probably hungry and thirsty,” Tinnley’s mother Chelsea told reporters after being reunited with her baby. “Just grateful. Grateful and happy.”
When asked what they would say to the individual who stole their car, Tinnley’s father responded: “Don’t let me find you.”
Detectives are asking anyone who recognizes the suspect to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200. Tips can also be provided through Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477) in order to be eligible for a cash reward of up to $5,000.