A teenage thief stole a Tower Grove South mom's car on Christmas morning — moments after she'd strapped her baby son in the backseat, authorities say.
The 26-year-old mom was warming up the car and walked back to her home in the 3400 block of Spring Avenue to lock the door, police say. She turned around just as the teen jumped into her car and sped off with her child.
The sixteen-year-old drove about a block before he pulled over in the 3400 block of Giles Avenue, abandoned the infant on the doorstep of a house and took off again, according to police.
The teen was spotted by officers shortly after. He ditched the stolen car in an alley in the 3600 block of Wyoming Street and ran for it, police say. Officers caught him after a short foot chase and took him into custody.
The baby seems to have survived the terrifying episode unharmed. He was left at the house of a woman named Laura Rosener. A young mother herself, Rosener told KMOV the car thief rang the doorbell before sprinting back to the stolen car.
She thought it was a UPS delivery, but her husband looked outside and spotted the six-month-old child on their doorstep.
"He said, 'There's a child on our porch,'" Rosener told KMOV. "I said, 'You mean a kid playing a prank?' He said, 'No, it's a baby.'"
They called 911, and authorities were soon able to reunite the frightened mother with her baby boy.
"I can still hear the way she cried," Rosener told the station, wiping away tears. "Like, I had to cry, too."
Police arrested the teen on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping, theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing and endangering the welfare of a child. He is in the custody of juvenile authorities. Police have not released his name.
The mother of the six-month-old has posted on a neighborhood Facebook page, thanking law enforcement for their response.
Everyone has heard of the baby who was kidnapped in his mother’s car. I am the mother of that beautiful boy. I have seen the comments of those who blame me and question my judgement when locking my apartment door. I am not here to argue with that.
What I want to say is I am truly grateful to the law enforcements in our area. They were incredibly fast and took every second of that situation seriously. Within minutes my son was found, and right after that, my car was found, the guy was caught and arrested. Every officer made me and my son feel safe and protected. I will always remember the names of the two officers who came to me and took me to my son. As well as the lieutenant who came and shared her concern and apologized that this happened. Thank you to every officer and person who puts their life on the line for us citizens.
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