Hernando County mother speaks after truck was stolen with son inside

Hernando County

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Two men are charged with carjacking after Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies said they stole a woman’s truck with her child still in the back seat.

Deputies say Samuel Christopher Rorah, the driver, and Toby Gene Barber, the passenger, stole a Ford F-250 from the Speedway on Cortez Boulevard Saturday night.

The owner of the truck, Courtney Jensen went inside to pay for gas with her oldest son, while her youngest son stayed in the back seat.

Investigators say as the men started driving away, they noticed the boy. They quickly pulled him out of the truck and drove off.

Jensen says moments later, her son ran inside the gas station with tears in his eyes.

“I was in disbelief, I was like no way, no, we had to take a second to look and we saw it was gone.,” Jensen said.

Jensen says her son told her, he tried to stop the men from taking the truck. She believes that’s likely why they left him in the parking lot.

“He pulled his baseball bat out of his bag and tried hitting the driver, he said he definitely got him in the head at least once,” Jensen said. “He was like if there was only one of them I could have taken care of them.”

Jensen’s oldest son called 911. Deputies spotted the truck several miles away. Eventually, the driver lost control, and after a foot chase and the help of a K-9 unit, deputies caught both men.

Jensen says while she’s thankful her son wasn’t hurt, she’s also proud how both of her sons didn’t panic.

“I’m more surprised at their bravery and knowing what to do in an emergency than anything,” Jensen said.

Jensen is also thankful to the good Samaritan who said which direction the truck went. She knows Saturday night could have had a different outcome. Now, she’s making sure she does things differently moving forward.

“It was a poor lapse of judgement, trying to hurry in and out and get moving,” Jensen said.

Both men have extensive criminal history in Polk County. Rorah is charged with carjacking, knowingly drive while license suspended/revoked and resisting arrest without violence. Barber is charged with carjacking and resisting arrest without violence.

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