Crime

He thought he was meeting a girl for sex. He was greeted by armed carjackers instead, cops say

A 21-year-old Bradenton man is charged with armed carjacking after setting up the victim with promises of sex while pretending to be a female, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

Thevlon Rainey was arrested Sunday and remains in the Sarasota County jail. The incident occurred in July but an arrest warrant was obtained for Rainey in September after DNA results implicated him, according to the warrant affidavit.

Deputies say the victim received text messages from someone who called themselves “Katie,” and if the victim agreed to pick her up, she would repay him with sex.

The victim drove his Lexus to the location of the prearranged meeting at the dead end of Chilk Avenue and was met by four suspects, including Rainey, deputies say.

The suspects pulled handguns and demanded that the victim get out and when the victim refused, he was struck in the head with one of the guns, according to the arrest report. The suspects threatened to kill the victim and then stole $300 in cash and two cell phones and attempted to steal the vehicle, the report states.

The vehicle would not start, however, because it could only be started by the owner using his key FOB, which is a computer generated password system. The suspects chased the victim to get the key FOB, but a resident on the street drove by, lighting up the suspects with the headlights. That panicked the suspects into running away, deputies say.

Deputies recovered the stolen cellphones and confirmed the text messages from “Katie” were an attempt to lure the victim to the location, the report states.

A necklace that did not belong to the victim was found on the ground at the driver’s side door and was sent for DNA testing, which came back to identify Rainey.

The investigation continues as law enforcement continues to search for remaining suspects.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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