Fort Lauderdale teen charged in theft of car with baby inside after mom turns him in

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida teen is facing serious charges after, police said, he stole a car with a baby inside.

Sixteen-year-old Terrance Thorpe Jr. was arrested Thursday morning after his mother recognized him in a surveillance photo and contacted authorities.

Hours later, he faced a judge after, detectives said, he stole a car Wednesday morning.

According to police, the teen was riding his bicycle when he saw the running car in the middle of the street along 2400 block of Northwest 26th Avenue, just after 8 a.m.

That’s when, investigators said, he dumped his bicycle and got in the car with a 1-year-old girl in the back seat.

“He had a bicycle, was passing, saw my car, saw an opportunity and he took it,” said the baby’s father, Jonathan Rabb, on Wednesday.

Rabb left the infant sleeping in the car and went inside a house for a few minutes. When he returned, Rabb said the car and his baby was gone.

“You know your daughter is missing and gone, and you can’t do anything about it but sit there? And not knowing what she’s going through?” Rabb said as he shook his head.

Police said Thorpe abandoned the vehicle a few blocks away, at the intersection of Northwest 19th Street and Northwest 24th Avenue.

Thorpe told police that he thought he was going to get robbed, and that’s why he jumped in the car to get away. He said he left the air conditioner on with the baby inside and didn’t know he could’ve waited for authorities to arrive before fleeing the vehicle.

Rabb said that was not enough. “I’m pressing charges, and that’s about it,” he said. “See you in court.”

Thorpe has been charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and desertion of a child.

He will spend the next 21 days at the juvenile detention center. However, a judge wants to see Thorpe next week to go over the terms of his probation.

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