KEY POINTS

  • The Detroit, Michigan, woman was pulled over by police Tuesday for running a red light
  • Police said they saw four children crying in the back seat of the woman's vehicle
  • The woman admitted that she had never met the children before and had no authority to pick them up

A woman in Detroit, Michigan, is accused of kidnapping four children as they were walking to school.

Detroit police said they pulled over 37-year-old Stephanie Marie Binder, of Detroit, at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Grand River Avenue and Evergreen Road for running a red light, WSLS reported.

When officers approached the passenger side of the van, they saw four children in the back seat: an 11-year-old boy, an 8-year-old girl, a 7-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy, authorities said.

A prosecutor said that police saw the children were crying and asked Binder if they were her children. The woman answered yes, the prosecutor said.

“The officers, due to the emotions of the children in the back -- they ask if they know this woman, and the children shake their heads. At this point, Ms. Binder is detained,” the prosecutor was quoted as saying by WSLS. “Had the officers not pulled them over, who knows where these children would be?” 

Police said that Binder was driving a stolen vehicle when she kidnapped the four children as the kids were on their way to school. Officials said she is not related to the siblings.

Binder later admitted to stealing the van. The prosecutor said Binder lured the children into her van and drove away with the children, telling them she was taking them to school.

“The youngest child got into the van, at which time the oldest child, who is 11, tried to grab his brother back, but Ms. Binder got out of the car and pushed them toward her van, telling them to get in,” the prosecutor continued.

Binder admitted that she had never met the children before and had no authority to pick them up, prosecutors said.

The children have since been reunited with their family.

Binder was taken into custody and charged with four counts of kidnapping - child enticement, four counts of unlawful imprisonment, one count of unlawfully driving away of an automobile and one count of receiving and concealing stolen property - motor vehicle, CBS 62 reported, citing the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Binder was arraigned Friday and is being held on a $5 million cash/surety bond. She was ordered to have no contact with the victims. She will be given a GPS tether and place on house arrest if released on bond.

A not guilty plea was filed on Binder’s behalf. A probable cause conference is scheduled for Dec. 14, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for Dec. 21.

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