KENTWOOD, Mich. — A West Michigan mother is shaken up after she was carjacked at gunpoint in front of her kids.
The frightening experience happened Friday, August 5 at McDonald's in Kentwood near the Woodland Mall.
"I was in shock. I had a gun to my head," said Tiffany Dickson of Grand Rapids.
Dickson was DoorDashing with her 11-year-old son and two-year-old daughter in her Acura Sedan.
Around 9:30 p.m., she pulled into the McDonald's at 28th St SE to pick up an order when she saw another car pull into the lot.
"I got in my car, put my seatbelt on, looked over my left shoulder and there was a gun to my head. [He was] telling me to get out of my vehicle. Leave all of my money and belongings in the car."
There was also another young boy with a gun at her son's door.
"[They were] no older than 14, 15 years old," Dickson said.
Dickson grabbed her kids and ran to the drive thru for help, meanwhile the thieves, who were wearing face masks, took the car on a quick joy ride.
The thieves abandoned her car at a BP Gas Station down the street. They left it in drive where it rolled across Breton into a truck at a Shell Gas station.
"Where are these parents at? I'm a single mom trying my hardest and this is what I get," said the mother.
It's unknown if the young suspects were part of the Kia Boyz gang, but this is the first armed carjacking Kentwood Police have seen involving juveniles.
"It's not worth it. It's not worth putting other people's lives in danger. Putting your lives in danger," said Capt. Ryan VanderVeen with the Kentwood Police Department.
VanderVeen added guns have been associated with the thefts of vehicles in the city, the majority being KIAs and Hyundais. The guns were either found on the suspect or inside the vehicle.
Dickson had been DoorDashing for two years but not anymore.
"They took a lot. My job. I can't sleep. My anxiety is through the roof. I get scared driving at night. When I'm stopped at a red light, I get scared."
No arrests have been made at this time.
"Be aware of your surroundings at all times," she said. "I was aware this car was backing up. I wasn't aware I'd be held at gunpoint to have my car taken."
Police are continuing to investigate what happened. Anyone with any information should call Kentwood Police at (616) 698-6580.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.