Suspect Facing Kidnapping Charge After Stealing Car With 5-Year-Old Inside

Perpetrator was a childhood friend of the victim, deputies say


Palm Coast, FL - A man remains in jail without bond after stealing his friend's car, all while her child was still in the back of the vehicle.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office (FCSO) was called to a Circle K gas station on Palm Coast Parkway in response to a domestic disturbance on Wednesday (September 8). Deputies learned from the reporting party that her childhood friend, 27-year-old Andrew Allen, stole her car with her 5-year-old daughter still inside following a physical altercation.

The victim told deputies that she was driving her vehicle with her daughter in the backseat and Allen in the passenger seat up front. After pulling into the Circle K, both adults got out of the car and Allen went inside the gas station. After coming back outside, Allen jumped in the driver seat and locked the car with the child still inside. The victim asked Allen to unlock the car multiple times, but Allen refused and drove to the other side of the parking lot.

When the vehicle stopped again, the victim asked Allen to unlock the doors again. Allen then unlocked the door and the victim grabbed her belongings. That's when Allen exited the vehicle and shoved the victim to the ground before fleeing with her vehicle onto Belle Terre Parkway. The child was still in the back seat.

Deputies eventually located the vehicle near the intersection of US-1 and Commerce Bouelvard and conducted a felony traffic stop. Allen was apprehended without incident and the child was rescued, she did not suffer any injuries throughout the incident.

“This was great work by our deputies who acted quickly to recover the child and vehicle safely,” Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly said. “A situation like this is very time-sensitive and required great teamwork to make sure no one was hurt. Of all the bad decisions Allen made at least he made one good choice and did not try to flee.”

Allen was ultimately charged with kidnapping, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and simple battery.