HOUSTON — Friendswood police arrested a man Wednesday accused of carjacking a vehicle, with a toddler and teenage boy inside, at a Kroger store gas station.
It happened at about 10:35 a.m. in the parking lot of a Kroger located at 3151 FM 528 near Bay Area Blvd.
Police said Thomas Miller McKellen, 39, pulled up in a maroon Acura, then jumped inside the white 1999 Buick LeSabre and drove off, apparently not realizing there were children inside the vehicle.
“I was just sitting there and a man hopped in, I realized he wasn’t anybody I knew. I hopped out real quick,” said John, the toddler’s uncle. Then he ran after the vehicle, screaming and yelling to draw the attention of others.
The vehicle belonged to the boy’s father, who was not inside of it at the time of the crime. He ran into the Kroger gas station to get some donuts for the kids. Something he said he does every day.
“I pulled up to the store to get my granddaughter and son donuts and a lady at the counter said there was a kid chasing after a car,” said Ben.
Josh Garcia happened to be there getting gas. He chased the suspect and tried to stop the stolen car.
“I rammed the side of the car and tried to pin him against the curb, but I didn’t hit him hard enough. He got away. I chased after him, but my car wasn’t fast enough,” said Garcia.
Police said McKellen, dropped the toddler off at a Wendy’s restaurant located in the same parking lot, and then sped away.
“She told me, ‘paw paw I started crying.’ That’s when he pulled over and dropped her off,” the child’s grandfather said.
At 12:54 p.m. police arrested Thomas Miller McKellen, 39, about 15 miles away, in the 4600 block of E. Nasa Parkway.
Investigators said the stolen vehicle has driver’s side damage where Garcia’s truck rammed it as McKellen tried to get away. That helped Friendswood police find the vehicle.
McKellen is charged with kidnapping and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.