Man accused of kidnapping baby while stealing car arrested, deputies say
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect accused of stealing a car with a baby inside it on Sept. 2 has been identified and arrested.
25-year-old Jalin Michael Jones was identified as the suspect and had been arrested on Sept. 4 by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office on unrelated charges.
Investigators with Greenville County said they obtained warrants on Jones for kidnapping and grand larceny, however, he remains in the Spartanburg County Detention Center at this time.
Deputies said the car was stolen at QuikTrip on Grove Road in Greenville. The 8-month-old baby girl was later found on the east side of Greenville County after the suspect dropped the baby off at Golden Strip School of Music.
Sheriff Hobart Lewis said a father and his baby went to the QuikTrip gas station just before 4 a.m. The man parked in front of the glass doors of the building and left the car running with the baby inside before going in.
While the dad was inside, the sheriff said a suspect jumped into the car and took off heading south on White Horse Road with the baby.
“I am so thankful that this young child was safely recovered and for the community member who called this information in right away,” said Sheriff Hobart Lewis. “Additionally, I’d like to give praise to our deputies and search and rescue team who worked alongside investigators to establish a swift response and dissemination of information to issue the Amber Alert, which undoubtedly played a role in the recovery of this precious baby girl.”
The stolen car was a 2013 black Nissan Altima with a #1 Auto Sales paper tag, according to deputies.
Jordyn Drezek, an employee of Golden Strip School of Music, found the baby in its car seat at the front door when she arrived at work early Friday morning. Drezek said she immediately checked to make sure the infant was breathing and unharmed.
Surveillance video captured outside the business shows the suspect stopping in the median on the road, dropping the baby off on the doorstep and repeatedly ringing the doorbell before running away.
Drezek called 911 and changed the baby’s diaper, which was wet.
“I really didn’t know what to think,” Drezek said, but believes the suspect may have seen the preschool sign outside of the business and decided to drop the baby off.
Law enforcement and EMS responded and evaluated the baby before reuniting her with her parents.
This is the second incident in Greenville County this week where an unattended vehicle was stolen with a baby inside.
“Please, I can not reiterate enough, please think twice about leaving your children in vehicles that are unattended,” the sheriff said. “We have seen what can happen on two occasions this week, and while fortunately, these two incidents ended with the recovery of both children, we can’t always assume that to be the case. So parents and caregivers please keep your children with you.”
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