KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — The rescue of a 2-year-old who was in a vehicle when it was stolen and left on the side of the road earlier this week was caught on school bus surveillance cameras.
The vehicle was stolen around 8:10 a.m. Tuesday in Kentwood, Michigan, according to the Kentwood Police Department. Dave Skinner, a bus driver with Kelloggsville Public Schools, was passing the area when he was flagged down by parents who said their child was inside a vehicle when it was stolen.
“They screamed at me that somebody had stolen their car with their baby in it,” Skinner said. “So immediately I got on the phone with 911.”
After he relayed the information to dispatch, Skinner got on the radio to let the other bus drivers know that a vehicle had been stolen with a child inside. Another Kelloggsville Public Schools bus driver, Sue Figueroa, quickly realized that she had just passed a boy wrapped up in a blanket in a driveway.
In the surveillance video, Figueroa can be seen circling her bus around, exiting, and rescuing the 2-year-old.
“I have the baby,” she said over the radio after bringing the boy on the bus.
“Oh my God. Thank you. Thank you,” someone on the other end of the radio can be heard saying.
The 2-year-old is put in one of the bus seats and Figueroa drives him back to his parents.
When they arrive, she can be seen yelling out the bus doors, “Mama, is this your baby?” as his parents come running over.
Kristen Nickelson, the district’s director of transportation, said Skinner and Figueroa are “heroes” and she is proud to work with them.
“This could have been worse. … That mom was so scared, and I just can’t imagine what it would have been like not knowing where your baby was,” she said.
Skinner said he was just doing his job.
“I don’t know if we’re heroes,” Skinner said. “Drivers are very attentive to all the kids in the neighborhoods while we’re picking them up. And if they see something odd or strange, they’re real quick to get on the radio and holler back.”
He added, “I’m just glad her kid is home safe. Cars are replaceable. But I’m glad her child’s home. It was a good day and a good outcome.”
Police say the stolen vehicle was soon found in Grand Rapids. Officers have not been successful in finding a suspect.