LARGO, Fla. (FOX 13) - A man is behind bars, accused of stealing a pick-up truck in Pinellas County with a child inside. The seven-year-old boy wasn’t hurt, but it was a terrifying ordeal for everyone involved.
The second Paul Fumea saw her, he knew something was wrong.
“Like visibly shaken up, tears flowing like she was, it was horrible,” he said.
The Largo man was part of a four-person landscape crew working for JB Lawns at the Wendy’s on Ulmerton Road. It was around 9:30 in the morning, and Fumea knew he needed to help.
“Is there anything I can help you with? That was the first thing I said, and that’s when she’s talking about the truck stolen, son is gone, and L was like oh my Lord.”
A family heading home to South Carolina from vacation stopped at the Wawa on Ulmerton Road to fill-up Monday morning. Police say when the parents got out of their pick-up truck, a thief jumped in and took off. Their seven-year-old son still in the back seat.
As other family members drove after the crook, the boy’s mom followed on foot.
“She was panicked, she was shaking, I mean visibly, her hands were like this, she couldn’t dial when she asked to use my phone,” said Fumea.
Thankfully, it didn’t take Largo Police long to find the little boy. Investigators say the suspect dropped the seven-year-old off at a Pinellas Park hotel with instructions to go inside and call his mother.
“It coulda ended much, much different,” Fumea said.
Police tell us mom was able to access her son’s Gizmo Watch through the app, allowing officers to track the GPS in the smart watch. The device was packed in a bag inside the stolen truck.
Investigators found the pick-up ditched in the parking lot of the Varela Westshore Apartments in Tampa. The suspect, Adam Vachon, was discovered sleeping in the entertainment room of the complex.
Police say Vachon confessed to stealing the car with the little boy inside. He’s being held at the Pinellas County Jail, facing charges of kidnapping and grand theft auto.