CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) - Police in Clinton Township are investigating after a van was stolen with a 4-year-old girl still in the backseat Monday morning. The girl is safe, though, after being found at a business about a half hour later.
Brandy McPherson quickly learned that crime can happen anywhere. And on Monday morning, it happened in the driveway of her children's grandmothers house in Clinton Township.
McPherson was picking up her 8-year-old son who had spent the night there, near McKishnie and Beaconsfield streets, when the unthinkable took place.
"I screamed, 'Oh my God! My baby' and I took off across the yard and I just started running up the street after him saying, 'My baby! My baby's in the car, please just stop, Iet my baby out!' And he just kept going."
McPhearson's 4-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, was in the back seat of the family's Town and Country Minivan when a suspect on a bicycle rode up, climbed in and then drove off. That was about 7 in the morning.
McPherson followed the thief for as long as she could before losing him -- and losing sight of her precious daughter. Every minute after was agony.
"When we finally got the call that she was safe I crumbled to the ground and balled my eyes out, praising Jesus and everybody that she was okay," she says.
About a half hour later, which as you can imagine felt like an eternity, someone spotted Brooklyn outside the Hooters restaurant near 14 mile and Gratiot in Roseville. That's about a half mile south of where the van was stolen. The suspect had apparently pushed the preschooler out of the minivan, then kept going. She thankfully was not hurt.
Right now police are still searching for him and the family's stolen 2010 red Chrysler Town and Country with a crack on the bumper near the license plate. The Michigan license plate number DNU 1455.
"Keep your babies close, even if you are somewhere for a second because the guilt I am feeling right now is so overwhelming that I myself, I don't think I can ever get over it," McPherson says.
We're told the 4-year-old was able to give a description of the suspect to police. They say the suspect is a black man with short black hair, and that he was wearing a black jacket and black pants.