7-year-old boy unharmed, man arrested for kidnapping, grand theft auto

Adam Benjamin Vachon

LARGO — A 33-year-old transient from Largo was in jail July 8 on charges of kidnapping and grand theft auto after police said he took a family's vehicle with a 7-year-old boy inside from the Wawa, 8910 Ulmerton Road in Largo.

Largo police say the family had stopped to fill up their vehicle before leaving to return home to South Carolina. The parents left the vehicle, leaving their son inside. A man, later identified as Adam Benjamin Vachon, entered the vehicle and then left the Wawa traveling eastbound on Ulmerton Road.

The father jumped into the grandfather’s vehicle and tried to catch the man, but was unable to do so. Police say Vachon dropped off the child at a hotel in Pinellas Park and told him to go inside and call his mother. Largo police say the child was found unharmed.

Police attempted to ping a phone inside the vehicle but were unsuccessful. That’s when police say, the mother came to the rescue and used the “Gizmo” app to locate the boy’s watch that was still in the vehicle.

Using the app, police were able to locate the vehicle, which was at the Varela Westshore Apartments, 1701 Lois Ave. N. in Tampa. When Tampa police arrived at the scene to recover the vehicle, no one was inside.

However, Vachon was seen getting off an elevator inside the apartment complex and police found him sleeping in the entertainment room. He agreed to return to Largo where he was interviewed by police, who say he admitted to the crimes. He was arrested about 5 p.m.

He was booked into the county jail on the kidnapping and grand theft vehicle charges, as well as failure to appear, failure to appear on a charge of fentanyl possession and failure to appear on a charge of possession of heroin.