The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has released video of a deputy rescuing a one-year-old girl who was inside a vehicle when it was allegedly stolen Tuesday in Florida.
“Deputies said Tinnley West was found inside the SUV parked at St. Andrews Methodist Church in Brandon,” WFTV reported.
The girl was abducted around 3:00 p.m. while she slept in her car seat in the back of a Volkswagen SUV, the sheriff’s office said in the description of the video on its YouTube page.
“Her mother was assisting a family member to carry items into a home on the 2600 block of Green Valley Street in Valrico when a suspect entered and drove off in the unlocked, running vehicle,” the post continued:
Deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office conducted a thorough search by land and by air more than two hours until West was located approximately three miles from the home by HCSO Master Corporal John Seale. The SUV, with West still inside, was left abandoned at the St Andrews United Methodist Church located at 3315 S Bryan Road in Brandon. West was unharmed and returned to her parents.
The video showed Seale approach the vehicle and open the door to find West in her car seat.
“You alright, baby?” he asked her, before taking her hand and comforting her when she began to cry. “You’re alright, your mommy’s coming,” Seale assured the child.
Moments later, he unclipped the girl’s seatbelt and held her in his arms as another officer arrived at the scene.
“A man seen on surveillance video recorded from a neighbor’s camera is believed to be the suspect who stole the SUV. The suspect, described as a thin build black male wearing a white t-shirt and jeans, is still at large,” the sheriff’s office said.
Following the rescue, Sheriff Chad Chronister praised Seale and his fellow officers who worked tirelessly to find the little girl.
“It was a privilege to personally thank him today for his diligence and job well done,” he said, according to a press release.
Seale was also awarded the Chief’s Challenge Coin, a limited edition coin given to personnel who “exhibit extraordinary performance on the job.”