Our network

Baby in stolen car, now back with family | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Baby in stolen car, now back with family

St. Petersburg, Florida-St. Petersburg Police are looking for a man who stole a car with a one year old baby girl inside. It happened on 19th Ave South and 34th Street.

The baby and car have been found she is with her family and doing fine.

Jessyca Broom and Brandon Duff are moving back into their old rental home with one-year-old daughter, Italia, where they say they feel safe. 

"I would die for Italia. That is my life; that is my daughter," says her mother Jessyca Broom.

But the young couple nearly lost Italia during what police call a crime of opportunity.

Brandon Duff, Italia's father says, "I didn't' think anything like that would happen that quickly that close to me."

Around 10:30 Tuesday night, Jessyca and Brandon say they drove up to the home they had planned to rent to speak to the landlord. 

They left their on-year-old daughter in her car seat with the AC on, and within minutes, they saw someone driving their car away with their daughter inside.

As the car thief pulled out of the driveway, Brandon ran after him on foot. 

Brandon says, "I knew the baby was in the back seat that is all I can think of as I'm chasing him down the road further, further away. I'm yelling at him I don't' want the car there is a baby, there is a baby inside."

Jessyca followed in her landlord's van, and after losing the car, the couple flagged down a St. Petersburg Police Officer.

Within 45 minutes Italia and the car were found.

"Officer said the baby is fine, baby is still asleep, the baby never woke up," recalled Jessyca.

The car thief abandoned the 2009 Subaru Legacy a half a mile away in front of Kimberly Davis' home next to a church.  

Davis' boyfriend spotted the vehicle, still running, when he arrived home from work, the baby still in her car seat.

"She was there, eyes open, wondering what was going on. No crying. She seen mom; she was happy," said Kimberly Davis.

It's been an experience the couple wants to forget. "Never want to go through it again; worst moments of my life," said Brandon.

Jessyca is not sure if they will ever tell Italia what happened that night.

She does know she will be extra protective of her. She said, "I will never let her go, never again; not even when she's 25- carry her on my hip even then."

Italia's dad described the thief as a black male in his 20's, clean cut, slender build, wearing a red t-shirt that night.

Police say it only takes seconds to pull the keys out of the ignition and to take your child with you it's seconds that can prevent a tragedy.


Pinellas County Deals

Pinellas County Businesses