2017-03-16 / Front Page

Children found safe after carjacking


BURTON – An Amber alert was issued Wednesday morning after two children, left in their mother’s running car while she ran into a gas station to buy cigarettes, were abducted by a carjacker who took the car at 6:58 a.m.

The children were found safe just after 10 a.m. in the neighborhood of Dort Highway and Carpenter Road after the would-be-carjacker apparently abandoned the 2000 Monte Carlo on the street with the children inside. Police would not say what led them to the location.

Police recovered the children, who were wrapped in blankets when they emerged from the car, and searched the area with K-9 tracking dogs.

The carjacking and abduction took place at the Admiral gas station on S. Saginaw Street in Burton, just south of Flint.

The mother told police she stopped at the Admiral and left the car running while she went in to get cigarettes. Inside the car were her 2-year-old daughter and 9-month-old son, both in the backseat.

When she came out of the gas station, she said she saw a large black man wearing a red hoodie driving away with her car, the children still inside. About 30-minutes later Michigan State Police issued an Amber Alert and an intensive countywide search for the missing car and children was launched.

Police said they are still searching for the suspect, who appeared to have abandoned the car and children.

Burton Police Tom Osterholzer said the parents were being transported to the location where the kids were found.

“It looks like we got the kids and they’re OK,” he said during a press conference following recovery of the children. “But it’s not over yet. Now that the kids are safe, we’re focusing on the suspect.”

Osterholzer said about 70 police personnel were involved in the search, including K9 units and helicopters.

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