PERRY COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A pair of stolen vehicles, one with a child inside, taught a Perry County mother a valuable lesson and landed a man behind bars.
"That few minutes that you just need to go do something real quick, nothing you can possibly do would mean that you needed to leave your child in the vehicle, because it took a matter of seconds for her to be gone," Layken Garner said.
Garner left her 18-month-old child, Kinzley Garner, in the vehicle when she ran inside Richton Bank.
"She was tired and was sleeping, I thought because of that I could just park close and I could see if she woke up and was moving," Garner said. "Next thing I know, I looked up and the truck was gone, I lost it."
Perry County Sheriff Mitch Nobles said the vehicle was recovered on Oak Street, a short distance away from the bank, with Kinzley unharmed inside.
"It appears the suspect took the truck and when he realized there was a child inside, he abandoned the truck," Nobles said.
Joshua Boutwell, 24 of Forrest County was arrested late Tuesday night and charged with kidnapping and two counts of auto theft.
"After Boutwell abandoned the vehicle, he then stole another one at The Doctors Clinic in Richton," Nobles said. "He then drove it literally across the parking lot, maybe 800 feet and abandoned it and ran."
Nobles added that with the help of Forrest County deputies, Hattiesburg Police Crime Scene Unit, Richton Police and his officers were able to locate and arrest the suspect quickly.
"I can tell you that God is real, I got her back and it's something that I want everyone to know, no matter if it is just five seconds, don't leave your child alone, no matter how small a town, anything can happen," Garner said.
Nobles said, "If you come into Perry County and you break the law, commit a crime, or anything illegal, we will find you and we will put you in jail."
Boutwell was booked into the Perry County Jail where he is awaiting his initial appearance.