Parents 'relieved' one-year-old son found safe after van stolen
Nasir, Zakar, and Amber Sheikh
GILMER, TX (KLTV) -
A one-year-old child is safe Wednesday night after the van he was sitting in was stolen.
Around 12:30 p.m., authorities in Gilmer say Andrew Crane stole a van with one-year-old Zakar Sheikh still inside.
Amber Sheikh said she was running routine errands, dropping off groceries and supplies at the Texaco station she and husband Nasir own. She left her one-year-old son Zakar in his car seat with the car running, and as she carried supplies in, she passed a man Gilmer police say is 31-year-old Andrew Lowell Crane.
"When I pulled up to the Texaco, he was standing outside the door. He was smoking. I didn't recognize him. I just continued to unload the groceries and supplies," said Amber. "He never really looked at me, and my hands were full from carrying in supplies and he never came over to offer to open the door, he just stood there watching me.
Surveillance video shows Crane grabbing the door behind Amber as she carried items inside - and then looking inside the window of the store before driving away. Amber said she heard tires screeching and went outside.
"He wasn't there, so I went inside and told the cashier to call somebody, that the car and my baby was gone," she said.
"Officers immediately attempted to locate the vehicle," said Sergeant Roxanne Warren with the Gilmer Police Department. "Probably about 25 minutes later, we were contacted by some folks out in Upshur County that said they had found a baby in a car seat sitting on the side of the road."
Zakar wasn't hurt, and Gilmer police officers reunited him with his parents at the police station.
Amber's Kia Sedona van was located abandoned on a different road about 20 minutes later - and Crane was taken into custody at a friend's home in Upshur County at 3:35 p.m.
"At this point, we're just glad this baby's been recovered and this guy's off the streets for now and we are certainly going to continue some investigation into how this happened and why this happened," Sergeant Warren said.
And Zakar's parents are just glad he's safe and sound.
"We're relieved, very thankful to Gilmer PD and the customers that offered to help," Amber said. "Praise God," Nasir added.
Gilmer police tell us Crane will be charged with aggravated robbery.
He was taken to ETMC Gilmer to treat self-inflicted cut wounds before he being transported to the Upshur County Jail.