3 children found safe after being kidnapped from SW Houston gas station

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Monday, January 22, 2018
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Search continues for suspect who stole vehicle with three children inside.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Children taken when a man stole a vehicle from a gas station in southwest Houston have been found safe.

Eyewitness News has live team coverage of the investigation on ABC13.

The three children, ages 4, 7 and 8, were found just a short distance from the gas station where they were kidnapped.

The Houston Police Department initially responded to reports of a stolen vehicle in the 8000 block of West Sam Houston Parkway around 2:30 a.m.

According to police, a woman went inside a Shell service station and left her Honda CRV running with the kids inside.

Surveillance video showed the suspect in a gray hoodie get out of a vehicle, jump in the SUV and drive off.

The kids were found near a strip mall at 10800 Bellaire Blvd. around 4:30 a.m.

Police say a maintenance worker was cleaning the building and went outside to throw out some trash when he spotted the vehicle with the children sleeping inside. The man flagged down an officer who was searching the strip center. That officer quickly identified the children and the vehicle.

The kids were promptly reunited with their mother. The children seem to be unharmed but were checked out by medical personnel as a precaution.

Mom reunites with kids after they were kidnapped from gas station

The mother, Corena Thomas, said she instantly freaked out when she realized her kids were missing. She said they were asleep in the car when she quickly ran in to buy something from the store.

Thomas said the whole thing took less than two minutes. She's now happy and relieved they're okay.

"As soon as they called me I rushed up here right away to make sure' they're okay. I just want my kids," said Thomas.

The suspects have not been located.

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