NEWNAN, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - He doesn’t even have a driver’s license, but deputies in Coweta County believe he is connected to a major car theft ring in metro Atlanta.
Investigators this week charged 17-year-old Sakhile Rasmeni with stealing a car with a 3-year-old girl inside just before Thanksgiving. But investigators said that’s not the only crime to which he’s connected.
Coweta County investigators released a video to FOX 5 News showing the kidnapped 3-year-old girl pacing, appearing frightened and crying after being dropped off by a gas station dumpster. All the while, her little puppy keeps her company.
It was about 10 at night the Sunday before Thanksgiving. She had just been kidnapped when a car thief made off with her mother’s Volkswagen Beetle at a Coweta County Texaco. That thief dumped the child and the puppy at a Union City Texaco. The employee who found her said she was calling for her mother.
Investigators said they now know Rasmeni was behind that crime. Police said the teen told the distraught little girl that he was taking her back to her mother, but drove her miles away and dumped her out alone.
Investigators said the teen was seen in surveillance video showing the so-called slider crime as he crawled into the family's car while the mother was inside paying for gas and drove off. Investigator knew their suspect was young from surveillance video of him at the Coweta County gas station right before the abduction. Turns out Sakhile Rasmeni doesn't even have a license to drive.
Coweta County investigators arrested him at his home Wednesday after receiving an anonymous tip from Atlanta Crime Stoppers.
Investigators said the evidence is mounting that Rasmeni is part of a larger crew who have been stealing cars at metro Atlanta gas stations. Several law enforcement agencies are now working together on more arrests.
For example, this stolen Lexus that investigators said they found parked in Rameni's front yard. They believe this was the getaway car used during the abduction of the 3-year-old. It is seen in the surveillance video from that same gas station when investigators said Rasmeni tried to steal the black sedan but found the cars locked.
Deputies have charged Rasmeni with auto theft, cruelty to children and kidnapping. He's being held here in the Coweta County jail without bond.