It happened at a Phillips 66 gas station and convenience store on Homestead at Ley.
Surveillance video from various cameras positioned inside and outside the store shows what unfolded within just a few minutes.
Just after 8:30pm Saturday, a mother went in to make a purchase.
"She just came inside and got the beer and she was paying over here," store employee Jash Hirpara said.
Hirpara was working behind the counter.
What you can't see in the video is who police say was in the back seat of the car ? the woman's five-year-old son.
"I think I have seen [the suspect] two or three times before because this is a roadside gas station," Hirpara said.
The man was standing near a column. A few minutes later, he's seen getting into the mother's navy blue Honda Accord.
The mom pays at the counter, unaware of what has just taken place until she goes outside.
She then went back inside, describing to the clerk what has happened in the parking lot.
"She was crying and she had no idea what to say. She was shaking," Hirpara said.
Her phone was in the missing car, so Hirpara said she asked a customer for their phone. Then, Hirpara handed her the store phone to call police.
It was a frantic few minutes that grew to an hour before the mother learned the boy had been dropped at the Fiesta Mart on San Jacinto near Fannin. He was later reunited with her.
While the car and suspect have not been found, the workers who watched it unfold at the store where it all started were relieved at last night's ending.
"We saw the boy was left at the Fiesta and we are happy," Hirpara said.
Police are still looking at whether the mother will face any kind of charges.