Suspect steals parked car with child inside from Friendswood grocery store

The preschooler's brush with the suspect was thankfully brief
February 12, 2014 3:23:07 PM PST
A young child is safe and her family is shaken up after a brief encounter with a car thief outside a Friendswood grocery store.

That little girl and her family were very emotional when I saw them moments after they were reunited. Her grandfather was fighting back tears over that carjacking.

"I'll kill him if I ever see him," said Ben, the car theft victim.

That emotional reaction came after some scary moments for one family in Friendswood on Wednesday morning. Ben says a thief stole his car from the parking lot of a Kroger on FM 528, while his granddaughter was in the backseat.

Ben said, "I pulled up to Krogers over there and then I went inside to go get her a hot dog and donuts. My son was in the car, in the backseat with her."

Fighting back tears, Ben says it all happened so fast. Friendswood police claim Thomas Miller McKellen, 39, drove to the parking lot in a maroon Acura. They say McKellen bailed from that car and jumped into Ben's white Buick LeSabre where his granddaughter and 14-year-old son were waiting.

"A guy jumped in and my son comes out the car and started banging on the window saying, 'You're not my dad' and he ran after," Ben explained.

Police say as McKellen sped off, a driver who witnessed the chaos tried stopping him by t-boning the LeSabre. They say the accused thief then dropped off the frightened little girl at a nearby Wendy's restaurant and continued trying to dodge police.

"Dude, it could have turned south, I mean, they could have killed her or anything," Ben said.

Court records show McKellen has a criminal history including convictions on theft, assault, drug and evading arrest charges. Officers found him and Ben's stolen car on East Nasa Parkway.

"She's safe and my boy is safe," Ben said.

The grandfather assured me both children are physically fine right now. Police will be processing the stolen car for evidence.

Find Demond on Facebook at ABC13DemondFernandez or on Twitter at @demondfernandez

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