Man accused of leaving 2-year-old in a van parked at the Augusta Mall

Tyrone Thomas
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Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Richmond County Sheriff's Office says they received a call yesterday at 7:55 p.m. reporting a toddler alone in a van parked at the Augusta Mall.

According to reports, the van's windows were up and the doors unlocked. The man who found the 2-year-old said he took the boy out of the car.

The report goes on to say the surveillance video shows the father, Tyrone Thomas, pulling into the parking lot at 7:38 p.m. At 7:47 p.m., the video shows the passerby getting the child out of the car.

Thomas and other people were seen walking towards the van, getting in and driving off. Another witness is then seen in the video flagging down Thomas at 7:53 p.m. Witness told Thomas they took the boy out of the car and the 2-year-old was with mall officers.

Thomas said he knew the child was missing when he got back to the van and was driving to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, a report said.

The General Manager of Augusta Mall, Andy Wilke, said a mall officer pulled the child out of the unlocked car and took him into the mall.

"We are very thankful that this officer noticed the child and was able to prevent a potentially tragic situation," Wilke said in an email. "Our security program worked exactly as it is designed – focusing the safety and security of all our shoppers as our number one priority."

The child was not injured. Thomas is still in custody and is charged with deprivation of a minor.

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