Man arrested after attempting to steal vehicle with baby boy inside

Socastee mother allegedly stops stranger from stealing truck with child inside
(Source: Amanda Silva)
(Source: Amanda Silva)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Police arrested a Myrtle Beach man after reports say he broke into a woman's house and tried to steal the vehicle with her child inside.

It was any mother's worst nightmare, having to fight a man through a truck door to stop him from driving off with her child.

Amanda Silva was understandably emotional describing the scary moments.

"He said just let me go, your baby's crying," Silva said. "I was like how could you say that. I will not just let you go."

Silva said she had just stopped at her house in Socastee Monday morning to run in and grab a bag. She left the baby in the truck because she was only going to be inside for a few seconds. But as she approached the front door, she said that's when she noticed something was wrong.

"I was just worried about my son...I just wanted my son back," Silva said.

She says a man, who had also broken into her house and stolen her daughters piggy bank, got into her vehicle and tried to drive off.

"It was a nightmare for me. It was my worst nightmare," Silva said.

As she fought with the man to get her son out of the truck, Silva said he ended up backing right into a large ditch.

"The only explanation I can give to it is God's hand, nothing else," Silva said.

The man was unable to drive the truck out of the ditch, so Silva said he took off on foot, leaving behind one of his shoes.

"I hope they find him soon because if he's still out there...I don't know what he's capable of," Silva said. "I'm just worried...about me, my kids, my safety but about the others, too."

Silva said her family was already planning to move out of their home, but this incident has increased their passion for leaving.

According to reports, Ronald Eugene Helsel Jr. was charged with burglary, kidnapping, and taking a motor vehicle while in operation by another person.