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Suspect arrested after stealing SUV with 1-year-old girl inside, Hillsborough sheriff says

valrico stolen car missing child scene.jpg
Posted at 12:34 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 12:34:45-04

VALRICO, Fla. — The suspect in a Valrico kidnapping case has been arrested thanks to DNA evidence about a month after the crime.

26-year-old Rashad Lamont Mann was arrested after deputies say he stole an SUV that had a one-year-old girl inside.

A statewide Amber Alert was issued, but she was found safe.

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 mid-February in the 2600 block of Green Valley Street in Valrico. The 1-year-old was in her car seat sleeping in the backseat.

On March 17, Sheriff Chronister announced the arrest of 26-year-old Rashad Lamont Mann. He was initially arrested on unrelated burglary charges and DNA evidence linked him to the kidnapping.

His charges include:

  • Burglary of an unoccupied dwelling X2
  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Criminal mischief
  • Unlawful use of two-way communication device
  • Burglary of occupied dwelling X2
  • Grand theft third degree ($10,000-$20,000)
  • Grand theft firearm
  • Armed burglary of a dwelling
  • Grand theft third degree ($750-$5,000) X2
  • Felony petit theft
  • Grand theft motor vehicle
  • Kidnapping commit felony
  • Child Abuse

"I am so proud of the deputies and detectives who worked this case and excited to announce we have apprehended the kidnapper," said Sheriff Chronister. "It is my hope that baby Tinnley's family can finally find some comfort knowing Rashad Mann, the individual who has created nightmares for this family, is behind bars."

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 her daughter.

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.

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.