Two kids were inside a vehicle that was left running when it was stolen in St. Paul Tuesday night.
According to St. Paul police, the incident was reported around 10:15 p.m., with officers responding to the 600 block of Central Avenue where they were met by a "frantic mother" who said her minivan was stolen with her children, ages 2 and 4, inside.
The woman told police she left the vehicle running as she dropped something off at the address, and the vehicle was left unattended for approximately two minutes.
"When she came back outside, she saw a male suspect inside her vehicle, pulling away from the curb," a police report says.
Minutes later, a security guard saw the young children walking on the 400 block of Snelling Avenue. The man helped the kids indoors to warm up and called 911, according to police. The children were cold but medics cleared them and reunited them with their parents.
“This was an incredibly frightening situation for everyone involved, and we’re happy that the kids were quickly located and are alright. It also shows the dangers of leaving vehicles running and unattended — even for a short period of time — and especially if there are children inside," said St. Paul police Sgt. Natalie Davis.
The stolen vehicle was then found near the intersection of Roy Street and Shields Avenue in St. Paul, where it was towed to an impound lot for processing. No arrests have been made.
The incident happened just over a week after similar scares in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
On Feb. 6, a 1-year-old boy was inside a vehicle that was stolen in north Minneapolis, prompting an Amber Alert. The boy was found safe after the vehicle had been left running, abandoned in a church parking lot in Brooklyn Center.
On Feb. 7, a 6-year-old was inside a vehicle that was stolen from a Walgreens parking lot on the 1500 block of Randolph Ave. in St. Paul. That child was found safe a couple of blocks away, just a few minutes after the car was reported stolen.