PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — What began as a Sunday afternoon down memory lane turned into a terrifying ordeal in a flash when a carjacker took a woman’s SUV while her 6-year-old grandson was buckled in a car seat in the back.
Teri Stinson told KOIN 6 News she and her grandson, Jack, were in Southeast Portland near the house where she grew up. She drove to the house near SE 157th and Alder and got out to look. She left her Chevy Tahoe running with her purse inside and Jack strapped in the back playing video games on her phone.
“I really was just standing here taking it all in,” Stinson said. When the current homeowner came out they began to talk “and I said, ‘This is the house my parents built in the ’50s and they owned it clear until the mid-’90s and I just wanted to come by and see how nice it looks now.”
She was standing on the curb talking with the homeowner when “all of a sudden I hear a vroooom on the engine and I think I jumped because the car barely missed me.”
The driver sped off.
“Then I started screaming,” sher said. “I was literally running down the street screaming, waving my arms saying, ‘Stop! You’ve got Jack in the car! Stop!’ And of course there was no stopping.”
Neighbors poured out into the street, she said, and two of them were already on the phone with 911.
“I was very upset. And I knew Jack would be terrified. He’s only 6.”
The police “were right on it” and swarmed the neighborhood, she said.
At the same time, the carjacker drove in front of Parklane Elementary “and the guy just yelled at him one time to get out of the car.”
Jack unbuckled himself and got out but kept his grandmother’s phone with him. He was hysterical, Stinson said, but managed to find his dad’s phone number on his grandma’s phone and called him.
That’s when Jack saw a patrol car. “He put his hand up and waved to the police car.” The officer scooped him up and got him back with his father. Later, Stinson and Jack got back together.
“He goes running and I go running. It was a fabulous reunion. I was so glad to get him back,” she said.
Investigators later found the car abandoned and a forensic team came to the scene. Despite a ground search with K-9s, the suspect remains at large.
Jack said the carjacker was “a man, a young man. I’m thinking late teens, early 20s,” Stinson said. “He was wearing silver pants and a silver jacket. That means it’s grey.”
No one was hurt, but Teri Stinson wants everyone to know this kind of thing could happen to anyone.
“This could have happened in the shopping center, getting groceries. You know how we always throw our purse in the car,” she said.
“It happened in the blink of an eye and it can happen when you’re shopping. It could happen anywhere.”
Even though she wants the carjacker caught, “I want to tell him thank you, thank you, thank you for not hurting my grandson.”
The investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Portland police at 503.823.3333. The case reference number is 19-354084.Remember to follow KOIN 6 News on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Download our free news and weather apps for the latest headlines and forecast information.