Rhonda Price says she had just said goodbye to her daughter Thursday morning like any other school day, when she heard a knock on the door moments later.
“She said, 'I just got robbed, I just got robbed,'" Price said.
Her daughter and two other students were robbed while waiting for their bus at the corner of Sedalia Avenue and Ontaga Street in Farmington Hills.
“Usually it’s pretty safe because I walk my dog and play out here with my grandkids," neighbor Debbie Dorst said. "I just can’t believe somebody would do something like that to poor innocent kids," she added.
Farmington Hills police say the suspects approached the three Clarenceville High School students around 7:30 a.m. in a red Pontiac Grand Prix. A young man and woman got out while a second man stayed in the driver’s seat. They patted down the students and demanded their wallets, and threatened to shoot them if they didn't comply.
"It’s a very odd incident that persons would approach school-aged children, teenagers in this case, and take something from them," Chief Chuck Nebus said.
The thieves stole backpacks from the students while they were still wearing them and took off. They must have soon realized there was nothing of value in those backpacks, because police say they circled back to the bus stop and returned them before leaving again.
Police had a good description of the vehicle and a school liaison officer spotted it a short time later at the Sunoco gas station at Grand River and Inkster.
Police arrested a 20-year-old Westland woman, 21-year-old Redford Township man, and a 23-year-old Farmington Hills man who Price says live in the neighborhood.
She kept her daughter home from school after the frightening incident, and says from now on, she’s driving her to school.
“You see, it can happen right here in their own neighborhood and like I said, they live in the neighborhood, and I don’t know, it could be a gang for all I know. They could come back after them," she said.
The case is now being reviewed by the Oakland County prosecutor's office and the three suspects remain in custody awaiting charges.