Albemarle County police have arrested a Palmyra man in the thwarted child abduction last weekend at Fashion Square mall.
Authorities charged James Kevin Key, 46, on Thursday with one count of abduction, a felony offense, said Carter Johnson, police spokeswoman.
Police earlier this week distributed surveillance photos of an unidentified man they said scooped up a 2-year-old girl Nov. 24, walked away with her and then released her when her father intervened, police said.
Mall security escorted the man off the property but did not notify police, authorities said. The parents called police several hours later.
Key is a housekeeping supervisor at the University of Virginia, where he has worked since 1986, said McGregor McCance, university spokesman.
The university currently conducts criminal background checks on all prospective hires, including those already employed by the university who apply for a different job.
Searches of court records in Albemarle, Fluvanna and Louisa counties and the city of Charlottesville show Key’s only prior offense was an improper lane change in Albemarle in 2007. He paid an $86 fine.
The photos released by police led investigators to question Key, Johnson said.
“We were able to show a picture from surveillance video and asked for the community’s help in identifying the suspect,” Johnson said. “In this case, that information led us to Key and ultimately, to his arrest.”
Abduction is generally a class 5 felony in Virginia, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Key is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.