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Carjackers make off with truck and child passenger

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A pair of carjackers are facing multiple charges after making off with a truck that had a child sitting inside.

According to Denise Moloney, media relations manager for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), just before 9 p.m. on Nov. 20, deputies responded to a call reporting a carjacking at the Speedway gas station at 26260 Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville.

At the scene deputies met with a woman who told them that she had pulled her 2000 Ford 250 truck up to a diesel pump in order to purchase fuel, and then she and one of her children left the truck and entered the store. Her other child stayed behind in the truck.

While she and her child were in the store, two men jumped into the vehicle and drove away with the other child still inside.

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When the carjackers noticed that the child was still in the truck, they stopped in the parking lot and one of the men opened the door and physically pulled the child out of the truck. They then fled westbound on Cortez Boulevard in the stolen vehicle.

The child, who was unhurt, ran into the store, told the woman about the incident, and then described one carjacker as male with tattoos covering his arm.

The child’s mother later told WFLA that her son hit the driver in the head with his baseball bat at least once.

A review of the store’s surveillance video showed a white male wearing a black t-shirt, light-colored shorts, black shoes, and a black baseball cap enter the vehicle through the driver’s door and drive away. The camera failed to record a description of the vehicle’s passenger.

The dispatcher provided deputies with a description of the truck and its license tag, and shortly two deputies spotted the vehicle heading westbound near Mariner and Cortez Boulevards.

The driver of the stolen truck continued to travel westbound on Cortez Boulevard to Deltona Boulevard where he turned south. Deputies followed in an unmarked car until marked units could arrive. They also requested support from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and HCSO’s aviation unit.

When the driver of the stolen vehicle turned off Deltona Boulevard into a residential area, he continued to make several turns, and finally stopped the vehicle in the roadway to wave the unmarked HCSO car to pass him.

“It was at this time the deputies observed his left arm to be heavily tattooed,” Moloney said.

The driver became suspicious when deputies in the unmarked car failed to pass him. In response, he made several sharp turns and increased his speed.

When he failed to heed a stop sign at Northcliffe Boulevard, deputies turned on their emergency lights and siren and continued their pursuit.

At the intersection with Northcliffe Boulevard, the driver of the stolen vehicle turned northbound onto Deltona Boulevard. When he made a sudden turn onto Mallard Street, he lost control of the truck which eventually came to a stop in the yard of a home on Mallard Street.

The passenger subsequently exited the vehicle and fled on foot until a deputy caught up with him on Juliet Court placed him under arrest.

The driver of the stolen truck also fled on foot until he was tracked down by an HCSO K-9 unit and placed under arrest.

The driver of the stolen truck was identified as 28-year-old Samuel Christopher Rorah of Lakeland. He was arrested and charged with carjacking, driving on a suspended or revoked license, and violently resisting arrest.

His passenger Toby Gene Barber, 47 of Spring Hill was also arrested and charged with carjacking and violently resisting arrest.

Their cases are pending.

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