A toddler from Brighton, a suburb of Birmingham, was stolen in her car seat along with her aunt's SUV. Midfield police reported that a woman was dropping her children at Brighton Daycare, about 8:00 A.M., Jan. 23, 2013, when another woman walked up and asked for a ride. The victim refused and the other woman pulled a knife and stole her purse. She then jumped into a truck with a man at the wheel and sped away, according to Midfield Police officer Darryl Myers.
The victim then got back into her SUV and gave chase. She followed them to a Midfield convenience store. The victim got out and demanded her purse back. After and exchange of words, the suspect jumped into the victims SUV and sped away. The victim's 3 year old niece was still strapped in her car seat in the SUV's third row.
Names of the victims involved were not released. The victim reportedly spoke only broken English but sought help from a customer at the store who called police and then followed the fleeing SUV.
Officer Darryl Myers was on patrol and, heard the lookout bulletin and began to watch for the SUV. He spotted it coming toward him, and noticed a man in the vehicle behind pointing toward the SUV. Myers said he then chased the SUV through Midfield, Hueytown, Bessemer and back into Brighton. All of these towns are Birmingham suburbs.
Myers said the chase lasted only about five minutes. He added that they never went over 60 mph. "The whole time I was thinking so many things,'' Myers said. "You know, they don't really want us getting into chases, but then I was thinking about the safety of the child, and I was hoping nobody else got hurt. You go through so much as a police officer."
He said the woman ran a few cars off of the road, and at one point he feared she would collide with an 18-wheeler at a Hueytown intersection. "If she had run that light, that 18-wheeler would have torn her up,'' he said.
The woman finally pulled off on Keys Avenue in Brighton, where she put the SUV in park and fled on foot. Myers ran up to the car, but didn't see anyone inside. While searching the area for the suspect, his sergeant arrived on the scene and asked if he had seen a baby in the car. Myers said he hadn't, and they went back again to look. "When we walked back to the SUV, we heard her crying."
They found the little girl strapped in her safety seat in the far back. "She was clearly hysterical and scared,'' Myers said. "We told her we were the police and were there to help. We asked her if she understood, and she nodded yes and stopped crying."
Police moved the girl to a patrol car to keep her warm. The store customer that had followed the suspect went back and got the girl's aunt and brought her to the scene. Midfield police found the toddler safe, and returned her to her aunt. The woman who stole the vehicle remains at large.