Broward Sheriff's Office: Public Information Office

PIO Number: 23-6-17

Date: June 18, 2023

‚ÄčPhillip Pepe.PNG

Suspect Phillip J. Pepe Jr.

Detectives with the Broward Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit are searching for Phillip J. Pepe, Jr. wanted for kidnapping, false imprisonment of a child and grand theft auto.  

According to detectives, just after 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, BSO Oakland Park deputies were dispatched to the IHOP located at 3101 W. Oakland Park Blvd. in reference to a stolen vehicle with a three-year-old boy inside. The child's mother was exiting the restaurant when she discovered her vehicle and son were gone.

Minutes later, deputies located the vehicle and the unharmed child at 1901 N.W. 40th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Deputies established a perimeter and called in Aviation and K-9 units for assistance. However, the suspect had abandoned the vehicle and fled from the scene.

SVU detectives have identified the suspect as Phillip J. Pepe Jr., 33, who was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue shorts. He has a tattoo on his right arm and an abrasion under his left eye.

Anyone with information on Pepe's whereabouts is asked to contact BSO Special Victims Unit Detective Michael Sgro at 954-321-4256 or submit a tip through the SaferWatch App. If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477), online at, or dial **TIPS (8477) from any cellphone in the United States.

Miranda Grossman/PIO