COPY-Child safe after Tuesday carjacking - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

COPY-Child safe after Tuesday carjacking

An 11-month-old child was inside a car that was stolen from a Kroger gas station in East Shelby County Tuesday morning.

Now, the search is on for the suspect. Police hope surveillance video will help them catch their man.

Investigators said a male suspect stole the 2006 Chevy Cobalt belonging to Whitney Jones while her son Cameron was still inside. 

The car was stolen while Jones was putting air in her tires at the Kroger near Macon Road and Houston Levee.

Jones keys were in the ignition and her baby in the backseat when the stranger approached. He then climbed into the driver's seat.

Jones tried to fight but was unsuccessful. "I was begging to get my baby out. I said Sir, just let me get my baby out, you can have the car and everything in it, just let me get my child out," explains Jones.

Jones' request was denied. Her car sped away, peeled out of the parking lot and onto Macon Road. "I was just screaming," says Jones.

But in just the right place at just the right time was Jason Redding, an off duty Memphis Police Officer. He offered Jones help.

Redding and Jones pursued the suspect in Redding's truck as the man fled east on Macon Road.  Another witness to the carjacking also joined the chase.

The suspect wrecked the Jones' car and fled less than a half mile down Macon Road at Breezy Valley Drive. 

There, he tried to pry open a window of the house at 1266 Breezy Valley Drive.  Unable to open the window, the suspect ran into a wooded area nearby.

Officials said Cameron Jones was recovered safely at the scene of the wreck.

"It could have been a much different outcome. We were very, very fortunate this time," says Shelby County Sheriff's Department Spokesperson Steve Shular.

Dusting and swabbing, investigators searched the Sedan for evidence as sheriff's deputies filtered through nearby woods.

It's an experience Whitney Jones would rather forget. "It was terrifying. Just thank God my child wasn't harmed. That's all my main concern was."

The off-duty Memphis Officer who helped the mother didn't want to do an on camera interview. But, Officer Jason Redding said, "I just did what I believed any citizen would do, help someone who was in trouble."

Deputies are still searching for the suspect, described as a Hispanic male in his late 20's, wearing a blue and white striped polo shirt.  The man was wearing tan and maroon checkered shorts, and white tennis shoes.

Macon Hall Elementary was on lockdown as deputies search for the suspect.

Police ask that you always take your keys out of your car no matter what.

They're also asking that you give them a call if you know the man in the picture or have any idea where he might be.

Jones told investigators the suspect was not armed, and he did not threaten her or her son.

Click here to email Nick Kenney.

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