Family traumatized after thief steals car with kids in backseat from South Side gas station

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two young children are back with their family after someone stole their mother's car while they were inside Saturday.

The car theft took place at a gas station just before 6 p.m. near E 75th Street and S Yates Boulevard in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, according to police.

While the family is safe, they have been left traumatized.

Police are searching for the man who was caught on camera stealing the Chevy Malibu from the South Side gas station.

Surveillance cameras were rolling as the offender casually walks up to the parked car parked before hopping in into the car with two young kids sitting in the back seat.

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"Terrified, because I was just leaving work and to get this call that someone kidnapped my children. It was horrible," said Jacqueline Owens, the kid's grandmother. "So I'm grateful they are found and safe but my grandkids are terrified and so is my daughter. "

The mom left her keys inside the vehicle while making a quick stop at the gas station, but when she came back to the car both the vehicle and her young children, a 4-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, were gone.

A short time later, the car was found a few blocks away in the 7500-block of South Merrill and the family was reunited.

"I guess they didn't realize that the kids were in the car, because we were on 75th and Yates. They pulled over at 74th and Merrill, and put part of the car in the middle of the street and the kids are standing on the sidewalk in the snow," said Shameeka Choice, the kid's Godmother.
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