The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Sarasota couple on felony charges after deputies connected them with theft and drug possession, while their one-year-old infant was left home alone.
Deputies conducting a traffic stop were first alerted to a retail theft at the Family Dollar, 2128 N. Washington Blvd., just after 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night, when a store employee approached them to report the suspects just fled the area after stealing merchandise. A witness in the store’s parking lot gave deputies a description of the vehicle and in only a few minutes, deputies found the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop in a gas station parking lot at 3703 N. Washington Blvd. As deputies approached the vehicle, they noticed both the driver and passenger attempting to hide something under their seats. Once the couple exited the car, deputies observed pill bottles in plain view in the driver’s purse and under the passenger side seat. Upon further search of the car, deputies recovered stolen merchandise from the theft, including deodorant, designer nails and nail glue totaling $10.17, in the driver’s purse. Both Brandi Sparrow, DOB 04/11/89, and Jarrod Sargent, DOB 07/13/80, were taken into custody.
As deputies were on scene, they were approached by a woman claiming to be the roommate of Sparrow and Sargent. The woman asked if the couple’s one-year-old infant was with them to which deputies confirmed he was not. According to the roommate, Sparrow sent her a text message around 5:00 p.m., asking her to watch the baby. An hour later, the roommate checked in with Sparrow who claimed she was at the entrance to the neighborhood and the roommate was free to go since she would be home in a few minutes. Deputies quickly responded to Sparrow and Sargent’s house where they found the one-year-old in his bedroom. The infant was OK however, the back door to the home was open, the gas stove was on and there were burning candles in nearby rooms. The child was released to the custody of relatives.
Sparrow and Sargent are both charged with Child Neglect, Possession of Alprazolam with Intent to Sell and Resisting Arrest. Sparrow also faces Possession of Tramadol and Petit Theft. Sargent also faces a single count of Possession of Narcotic Equipment. Both were released Tuesday.
The investigation is ongoing.