Deputies arrest two men in Saturday night carjacking

Toby Gene Barber, left, and Samuel Christopher Rorah are suspects in a carjacking that took place on Saturday, Nov. 20.

BROOKSVILLE – A woman who stopped at a gas station to refuel her truck saw two men jump in and drive off before releasing a child they hadn’t noticed in the back seat.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office press release, on Saturday, Nov. 20 just before 9 p.m. the woman stopped at the Speedway at 26260 Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville.

She said that after pulling up to a diesel pump to refuel her 2000 Ford F-250, she and one child went into the store while the other child sat in the back seat, playing with a hand-held gaming device.

Two men jumped into the vehicle and began to drive away, but when they noticed the child they stopped and the passenger jumped out, opened the back door and pulled the child out of the truck, leaving the child in the parking lot, uninjured but very scared.

The driver then headed west on Cortez Boulevard in the stolen vehicle.

The child alerted the mother, and said the driver had tattoos all over his arm.

A review of surveillance footage showed a white male wearing a black T-shirt, light-colored shorts, black shoes and a black baseball cap enter the driver's door and drive off.

Because of the height of the truck and the camera angle, deputies could not develop a description of the white male passenger.

At about 8:59 p.m., deputies Trevor Jones and Scott Bierwiler spotted the stolen vehicle in the area of Mariner Boulevard and Cortez Boulevard, heading west. The driver of the stolen vehicle proceeded west on Cortez Boulevard to Deltona Boulevard, where he turned south onto Deltona Boulevard. The deputies, in an unmarked vehicle, followed the stolen vehicle until marked units arrived.

Deputies requested assistance from the FHP and the HCSO aviation unit.

The driver of the stolen vehicle turned off Deltona Boulevard into a residential area, where he continued to make several turns. At one point, the driver stopped the vehicle in the roadway and attempted to wave the deputies’ unmarked vehicle past him. The deputies noticed that his left arm was heavily tattooed.

The deputies did not pass the stolen vehicle and the driver became suspicious, making several more sharp turns and beginning to accelerate. He disregarded the stop sign at Northcliffe Boulevard and proceeded east. The deputies activated their emergency lights and siren.

At the intersection of Northcliffe Boulevard and Deltona Boulevard, the driver

of the stolen vehicle turned north onto Deltona Boulevard and then made a sudden turn onto Mallard Street. The driver lost control of the F-250 and it came to a stop in a yard on Mallard Street.

The passenger exited and fled on foot.  Jones pursued, on foot, through several backyards.  He caught up the suspect on Juliet Court, and placed him under arrrest.

The driver also fled on foot.  Bierwiler chased but could not locate him.

Deputy Greg Locke arrived on scene with K-9 Argo and began a track for the driver. As the K-9 team was tracking through a wooded area, another deputy saw a male walking on Northcliffe Boulevard who matched the description of the driver. The K-9 team tracked to the location where the male was located. 

The male was positively identified as the driver of the stolen vehicle and placed under arrest.

The driver of the stolen vehicle was identified as Samuel Christopher Rorah, 28, of Lakeland. He was charged with:

  • Carjacking
  • Knowingly Driving While License Suspended/Revoked
  • Resisting Arrest w/o Violence

His bond was set at $26,500.

The passenger was identified as Toby Gene Barber, 47, of Spring Hill.

He was charged with:

  • Carjacking
  • Resisting Arrest w/o Violence

His bond also was set at $26,000.