DETECTIVES have been scanning CCTV footage and speaking with residents as they step up the hunt for a carjacker who stole a vehicle while a baby was sat on the back seat.
The Star revealed how Lisa Binks, 39, screamed in horror as the thief stole the car with four-month-old Archy inside.
She had stopped to move wheelie bins and recyclables from the road on Stour Avenue in Rainhill when the crook pounced.
As primary school teacher Lisa got out of her Peugeot 308, the carjacker jumped in and drove away, with baby Archy still inside.
Her screams alerted neighbours and the baby’s father, Simon Brown.
She said: “I just started screaming: ‘You have got my child, you have got my child’ and tried to run after the car.
“It was like time just stood still. I couldn’t even think of my registration number – the emotions took over.”
Police were called and following a frantic search Archy was found in the abandoned car in nearby Severn Road by his uncle, John Hughes, some 15 minutes later.
Archy was unharmed but crying loudly – and he was swiftly united with Lisa and Simon, 45.
The parents believe the bins had been left as a deliberate trap by the thief.
The thief escaped with her red handbag, which contained a Samsung Galaxy II phone on which there is treasured photographs of Archy enjoying his first Christmas.
His escape route after dumping the car has been pinpointed as the Dee Road alleyway, in Rainhill.
He went through the estate by the Rocket pub, onto Warrington Road, across the fields and out onto Holt Lane Items that spilled out of the handbag have been found along the route, although the phone has not been recovered. The stolen car has also been forensically examined.
Describing the ordeal, Lisa told the Star: “I was driving back from parents’ house when I came across the bins that were blocking my path.
“As I got out of the car I noticed a man appear who walked by. He looked straight at me and for a few seconds I thought he was going to help.
“He had his hood up and just walked by. So I moved the bins and as I did so I heard the engine of the car rev and as I turned he drove off at high speed.
“Neighbours came out on to the street and tried to get information from me - and they contacted my family and the police.
“Thankfully my partner did think and wanted to do something. He called my phone and it rang out. The second time it was switched off.
“I think it was that that made the thief realise Archy was in the back of the car.
“When John phoned to say he had been found. We just ran as fast as we could and then I could see my little boy in the car.
“I just held him and didn’t let him go. He has had plenty of hugs and cuddles.
“In the end we feel lucky. It could have been worse - Archy could have been hurt because the car was being driven at speed – and I could have been run over – because I would have dived in front of the car if possible.
The theft happened at about 5.20pm on Tuesday, January 8.
Witnesses described the offender is described as in his early 20s, clean shaven, with a slim build.
He was wearing a black wool or fleece hooded top with white lettering on the front and black. He is thought to have short brown hair cut in a crew cut with short spikes.
Archy’s dad Simon said: “If anyone has information or saw anything they should contact the police to make sure this lowlife doesn’t do the same to another family.
“Our family has been shook up by this and I want everyone to be aware of the traps set by these people.
“As well as bins, they have been known to use prams or anything else they can get their hands on.
“If it makes people think and saves just one family going through what we are experiencing it will be worthwhile.”
Archy’s dad Simon, a helpdesk supervisor based at Pilkington’s Cowley Hill plant, added: “It was a terrifying experience – I can’t describe the relief we felt.
“There are pictures on the phone that we will probably never see again. It is a sad reflection of the society we live in.”
Police have warned motorists not to leave their cars unattended and running for any reason.
Contact police on 0151 777 6881 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.