CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - A 20-year-old man was arrested after stealing a car with a child in the backseat.
Clarksville Police said Willie Cole stole an unlocked and running Chrysler 300 with seven-year-old Cornelius Belvin in the back seat. It happened outside a Dollar General Market on Madison Street around 7:30 p.m. Monday. The boy's mother had gone inside the store to pick up medicine, and thought she'd locked the doors. When she discovered her son and car missing, she called police.
"My life was over," said Sharonda Belvin. "My son is my whole world and I felt like he was gone and I wasn't going to get him back."
A woman found the boy approximately 10 minutes later outside a gas station at the Walmart on Madison Street. He told officers he had been dropped off, and gave police a good description of his kidnapper.
Police found Cole inside a K-Mart store on Madison Street. They found the Cole had the keys in his pants' pocket, and found the stolen car outside of Walmart.
The 7-year-old positively identified Cole as the person who stole the car with him inside. During an interview, Cole told a detective that he saw the car running and took it because he needed the bail money for previous charges.
The child and car were returned to the mother who admits she made a mistake that she'll never repeat.
"I'm a single parent. I'm a good mother and I take very good, good care of my child," Belvin said Tuesday. "Yes I did make a mistake and I did leave him in the car by himself, which will never happen again and that is my lesson learned and that is something that I have to take up with God."
Cole was booked into the Montgomery County jail and charged with theft of property and kidnapping. His bond on those charges was set at $200,000.
He was also served with an outstanding violation of probation warrant, and is being held without bond.
In January, Cole was charged with theft of a motor vehicle after the owner of the stolen vehicle found items from his car for sale on Craigslist. He was given probation for three years in May for that charge.
He was arrested again in June when he was caught driving another stolen vehicle.