9-year-old girl escapes carjacked vehicle in Sarasota

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SARASOTA – A 31-year-old Sarasota man with two dozen prior arrests is booked on Kidnapping and Carjacking charges after he stole a car with a nine year old girl in the back seat.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested Thomas White on Saturday after a brief pursuit.

White allegedly hopped into a car while a man was loading the trunk with mulch in the Lowe’s parking lot on Fruitville Road around 5 p.m.

The victim’s 9-year-old daughter was in the back seat but was able to escape before the suspect left the parking lot.

Deputies located the stolen vehicle at the intersection of Cattlemen and Bee Ridge Roads,  but the suspect ran from the vehicle into a nearby restaurant where he was arrested.

An investigation revealed the car White drove to the parking lot where the kidnapping took place was reported stolen out of the city of Sarasota.

White has two dozen prior arrests in Sarasota County for crimes including aggravated battery, aggravated assault, burglary, and dealing in stolen property. He was released from prison in October 2016 after being sentenced to four years behind bars for Trafficking in Stolen Property, Burglary, and 10 other felony charges.

White remains in custody at the Sarasota County Jail on two counts of Resisting an Officer, Carjacking, Burglary, Kidnapping and Vehicle Theft.

He is being held without bond.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending from both the sheriff’s office and Sarasota Police Department.