Man Who Snatched Toddler In Charlottesville Mall Arrested

Charlottesville, VA—The man who snatched a 2-year-old girl from her parents inside a Charlottesville mall has been arrested.

46-year-old James Kevin Key of Palmyra was arrested Thursday, and charged with one felony count of abduction.

The girl was inside the Fashion Square Mall with her family on Saturday. As the family strolled through the food court around 2:00 PM, a man grabbed the little girl and took off running.

The child's father responded quickly, and caught up with the suspect after yelling for help. Security guards then apprehended the man.

Instead of calling police, the mall's security escorted the man off the property. Albermarle Police say it was six hours later when they learned of the attempted abduction by the child's parents calling them.

Albermarle County Police Spokesperson Carter Johnson says their focus was on finding Key, who is described as a light-skinned black man about 6 feet, three inches tall. He weighs about 220-235 pounds, and was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt at the time of the crime.

“Someone goes behind a child, picks that child up and begins to walk away…that is an attempted abduction,” says Johnson. “It's something we take very serious… its a felony offense. We are investigating with the hopes of finding this individual and making an arrest.”

Simon Property Group, owners of Fashion Square Mall, released the following statement after the incident shortly after the incident:

“This incident is now a police matter and, of course, we are fully cooperating with their investigation. Every piece of information that we have in our possession as well as witness reports have been turned over to the police for their follow-up.”

Investigators credit the community with helping to capture Key. He is currently being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and will have a bond hearing Friday at 1:30 at the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Copyright 2012 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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