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Car stolen with toddler inside after mother runs into gas station

She told police that she left her son inside of the car to run into the store and when she came out --both were gone.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A mom lived her worst nightmare overnight after someone stole her car with her child inside. 

It happened at the QuikTrip on Panola Road around 11:30 Monday night. According to DeKalb Police, the mother parked her car in front of the store, left it running with her son inside and went into the gas station. That's when surveillance video revealed that two suspects hopped in the car and drove away.

Police said that when the mother noticed her son and car were gone, she flagged down officers that were patrolling the area. Authorities found the car a few miles away on Arbor Crossing Drive with the child unharmed inside and the suspects were nowhere to be found. 

11Alive captured the moments the mother was able to reunite with her 3-year-old son. 

It is unclear if the mother will face formal charges at this time, but police said they cited her for leaving a vehicle unattended and creating a hazardous condition. The investigation is ongoing as police work to figure out what happened and look for the suspects.

Previous coverage of these thefts, deemed slider crimes because the suspects often slide into an open door while a victim is distracted, has shown that they can happen in mere seconds. Authorities recommend drivers keep their doors locked and windows rolled up when at the pump or gas station. Officials also said guardians should never leave their children inside of a car unattended. 


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