KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) —  A teenager has been charged for allegedly stealing a family’s car with their 2-year-old inside before leaving the child alone on the side of the road.

The 16-year-old, who has not been named because he is a juvenile, was charged with child abandonment, unlawfully driving a vehicle away, lying and obstructing police and malicious destruction of property under $1,000 for his alleged involvement in the vehicle theft, police say.

The Kentwood Police department said the case is being handled in juvenile court.

The morning of Oct. 4 was a nightmare for the child’s parents. Around 8:10 a.m. while they were at the bus stop on 48th Street and Marlette Avenue in Kentwood, their car was stolen with their baby inside.

His parents desperately called for help, getting the attention of Kelloggsville bus driver Dave Skinner.

He then radioed to let other bus drivers know a vehicle had been stolen with a child inside. Another bus driver, Sue Figueroa, heard the message and realized she had just gone past the toddler wrapped up in a blanket on the side of the road. She turned around, picked up the child and delivered him to his parents.

Kentwood Police Capt. Ryan VanderVeen told News 8 that he spoke with the bus drivers’ supervisor on Thursday, who was thankful the suspect had been charged. VanderVeen also thanked the bus drivers for rescuing the child.

“They just did a great job,” VanderVeen said. “They could’ve just driven by but they were paying attention. They inquired with each other to see what was going on and without them who knows what would’ve happened. So thank you.”

In Thursday statement, Kentwood Police Chief Bryan Litwin also thanked the citizens who rescued the toddler.

“I would also like to thank the bus drivers from Kelloggsville Public Schools for their quick actions in locating the missing child and returning him to his parents,” he said.

The stolen Pontiac Torrent was found later that day in Grand Rapids.

Vanderveen said it was thanks to help from witnesses that they were able to find the suspect quickly.

“When we get help from people, witnesses or people who have tips, we welcome that because it really helps us track down these criminals and give justice to the victims,” VanderVeen said. “And in this case, it helped us protect a young 2-year-old from being hurt or missing.”

Like in many communities, car thefts have surged in Kentwood this year. Most of the vehicles stolen have been Kias or Hyundais.

VanderVeen said he has seen vehicles stolen with children inside multiple times in his career.

“As far as I can remember, it’s turned out well for the kids that are involved,” VanderVeen said. “But in an instant, this can turn bad. Car thefts can be very dangerous as we’ve seen. We’re just really thankful this child was located safely and returned to his parents.”

In August, it happened in northeast Grand Rapids. Someone stole a vehicle with a 6-month-old child inside. The child was later found unharmed.

“There’s just a risk of danger that involves stealing cars, driving fast, there’s just the unknown,” VanderVeen said. “It’s just not worth it, I would say to these kids.”

— News 8’s Anna Skog contributed to this report.