Teenager carjacks vehicle with 6-year-old inside

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A 6-year-old was taken on a joyride with a teenager behind the wheel, according to Memphis Police Department.

Police said his mother admits it could have been prevented, if it wasn't for one simple mistake.

Coby Wheaton, 6, said he is happy to be back with his mother after a scary ride from strangers.

Police said his mother walked inside a convenience store on Getwell Road Saturday and left her car running with Coby inside.

"I was just stopping to get him some snacks," Danielle Peterson said.

Peterson, Coby's mother, said when she came back, her heart dropped.

"To come outside and not know my son was gone, I blacked out for a minute. It was just very scary," she said.

A 16-year-old boy has been charged after police said he stole the mother's car and took off.

Coby's mother is thankful for the generous people who were outside the store and quickly took action.

"When she said it was a baby in the car, we instantly jumped in the truck," witness Kimyatta McWilliams said.

McWilliams said she followed the stolen car in hopes of finding Coby. The car got away, but she did find the child not far away. She said he was dropped off by the suspect.

"He was just shaking and he was just crying, and when I saw the little boy, we just took him to the store with his mom," McWilliams said.

The child's mother admits she made a mistake, but she's thankful for the strangers who helped save her son.

"I want to tell those people thanks a lot. I really, really appreciate it," Peterson said.

Police are not releasing the 16-year-old's name but he has been charged in the theft. Police were able to locate the vehicle.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.