TampaBay.com is reporting that Phillip A. Thomas II was arrested today for an attempted kidnapping. The article noted that while the victim was not identified by investigators, the home where the suspect was arrested belongs to Daria Berenato aka Sonya Deville.
The article noted that the man had allegedly started planning the abduction eight months ago. On Sunday morning around midnight, police say Thomas arrived at the home and cut a hole in the patio screen. After being on the patio for a few hours while watching and listening through the windows, Thomas entered the home through a sliding glass door which activated the alarm. The homeowner was able to spot Thomas and then left the property in a car with a guest. After 911 was called, police arrived and Thomas was still at the property. Police say Thomas was carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace and other items and told them he was planning to take the homeowner hostage.
In a news release, Sheriff Chad Chronister stated the following:
“Our deputies are unveiling the suspect’s disturbing obsession with this homeowner who he had never met, but stalked on social media for years. It’s frightening to think of all the ways this incident could have played out had the home alarm not gone off and alerted the homeowner of an intruder.”
Thomas has been charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping, and criminal mischief. Thomas is currently being held without bail.
Sonya Deville issued the following statement: