MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A 16-year-old suspected of stealing a car with a baby inside from in front of a Ft. Lauderdale home on Wednesday has been arrested.
A police report revealed that he is a 9th grade student at Dillard High School and was turned in to police by his mother on Wednesday night.
The theft happened just before 11 a.m. in the 2400 block of NW 26th Street.
Johnathan Rabb said he had stopped at a friend’s house to grab something and left his 2006 Toyota Avalon running with his year old daughter Soraya inside. He said when he came out three minutes later the car and his daughter were gone.
Rabb told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I was heartbroken. I cried out for help. I wanted to drive around and look for her but then I realized I had to do the right thing and call police. But I was so worried. Anything could have happened. She could have been in a wreck.”
Ft. Lauderdale police found the car a short time later at the intersection of NW 19th Street and NW 24th Avenue. Soraya was still inside the vehicle and was unharmed.
“I dropped to my knees and thanked God that she was found safe and that she was ok,” said Rabb. “Police did a great Job and found her quickly. She could have lost her life. She could have been in a wreck. I feel like in this world there are a lot of bad guys who do these things and don’t even look in a back seat and see a child is there. Now I am blessed. I can’t say anything else.”
Police released surveillance photos from a business next to the church where the car was found. They say the Terrance Thorpe, Jr.’s mothers recognized him and contacted the police so he could turn himself in.
Just after 10:30 p.m. he did just that with his mother in tow. While there Thorpe reportedly admitted to “stealing that car with a baby in it.”
Thorpe said he did not realize he could stay with the baby until the police arrived, according to his arrest report. He added that he left the air conditioning on to make sure the baby didn’t overheat.
When asked why he stole the car in the first place, he said “I thought I was going to get robbed and that’s why I got into the car to get away,” according to the report.
Police say he also asked, “How many years do you get for GTA (grand theft auto) and stealing a baby?”
Thorpe has been charged with grand theft auto and desertion of a child.
On Thursday afternoon, Thorpe came before a judge at a hearing. The defense revealed that Thorpe did not realize a child was in the car and said he is very upset that that was the case.
No family members were at that hearing and the Judge ordered that Thorpe be held for 21 days in secure detention at the Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
He faces another hearing on April 12th.
D’Oench reached out to Thorpe’s mother but she said she did not want to say anything right now.