FORT MYERS, Fla.- On Friday, at 10:45 a.m., the Fort Myers Police Department received a call in reference to a vehicle that was stolen with a toddler in the back seat. It happened at the Brittany Apartments located at 4040 Winkler Avenue Extension.
The family had just returned to the complex in their Kia Sportage and was assisting an elderly relative into an apartment when the relative fell. The driver of the Kia jumped out to help and that’s when an unknown suspect watching them took the opportunity to steal the Kia. The suspect then fled the scene, perhaps not realizing at first that at 2-year-old girl remained inside the SUV.
Approximately three blocks away the suspect pulled into the Sienna Apartments located at 3621 Winkler Extension where he removed the toddler from the SUV and then dumped the vehicle in the parking lot. A resident there assisted the toddler as police arrived. The toddler is currently safe with her family and their vehicle has been recovered by police.
Surveillance video from the Brittany Apartments shows the suspects circling the complex prior to the crime in what appears to be a white, older model, Toyota Avalon. As the crime is being committed, the video shows a suspect in the white sedan following the suspect in the Kia out of the parking lot. Witnesses at the Sienna apartments described the same white vehicle as the one that picked up the suspect at that location. Witnesses also described the suspect as younger black male 18-20 years old.
Anyone with information is asked to call FMPD at 321-7700, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS or text message C-R-I-M-E-S (274637) Keyword FMPD. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
"She's crying so I tried to help her and get some information, get her name, get her mom's name, and then I see a cop car come up so I stop, flag him down, he was actually looking for her so it all worked out," said Brittany Rambo.
Brittany Rambo found herself in the middle of a manhunt when she found a little girl, lost and alone near a stop sign at the Sienna Apartments.
It's the same place police say the carjacker dumped the brown Kia.
WINK News was here when it was towed away.
At the time, Rambo focused her attention on the child left behind. She says luckily the little girl was unhurt, and it didn't appear that she was thrown out of the vehicle, but rather, set down
"I don't think he tossed her, set her outside, but she was standing she wasn't fallen on the ground or anything. It's awful you know? At least he didn't do nothing to her, took her out of the car so someone could get her," Rambo said.