Authorities said Carmenita Smith-Maynard stopped at the Snack Pak at North 18th Street and Parallel Parkway for gas. Her son and her niece were in the car while she ran in to pay for gas.
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -
Police say two children are safe after they were inside a vehicle stolen from a gas station Monday morning.
Witnesses say the children, ages 9 and 2, were dropped off. A construction worker saw the 9-year-old trying to carry his 2-year-old cousin inside and ran to help him.
Both children were unharmed and the 9-year-old's mother was relieved to see her son and her 2-year-old niece again.
The woman admits trying to save time nearly cost her everything she holds most dear.
Authorities in KCK said Carmenita Smith-Maynard stopped at the Snack Pak at North 18th Street and Parallel Parkway for gas.
Her son and her niece were in the car while she ran in to pay for gas. This occurred about 8:15 a.m. Monday.
Within minutes, her car and her children were gone.
Smith-Maynard said she saw a woman take off in her car and her heart sank. She screamed for help but she says it happened so fast.
"I started screaming and hollering trying to get someone to help me," she recalled. "My babies were in the car."
She said she was terrified about their safety.
Minutes later, police found the children.
The suspect had dropped them off in a parking lot of youth and community center near North 12th Street and Troup Avenue in Kansas City, KS. They were OK.
Smith-Maynard said she noticed the suspect when she pulled into the parking lot, but didn't think something awful could happen.
"I did everything wrong, you know. I left the keys in the car, my babies in the car and it was just a quick minute and then ... I just don't know," Smith-Maynard said. "It was only just to run in and pay for gas, and then I may not ever see them again."
Luckily, her car had a GPS tracking system inside and police were able to find it and the female suspect. There was also a man in the passenger seat.
Kansas City, MO, police gave chase, caught them and took them both into custody near Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and Leeds Road.
Smith-Maynard's 9-year-old son said he had to stay strong for both himself and his little cousin.
"I just wanted to keep her safe," the boy said.
Once they were reunited, Smith-Maynard held the two children tight.
"Thank God. I didn't really care about the car. Just leave my kids," she said. "I was overwhelmed and happy . . . I couldn't believe this could actually happen, but it did."
KCTV5's DeAnn Smith contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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