Mesquite police say a car thief dropped two small children off in a neighborhood when he realized they were in the car he just stole from a convenience store.
The 1-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl were inside a car left running in front of the store on the 3700-block of North Town East Boulevard just after 12 p.m., according to Mesquite police.
“You’re running out of the store, you see the back end of the car, you see the car, and you know your children are in backseat of car. That is the [worst] feeling I’ve had in my life. I didn’t know what to do,” Shawnee Lewis, the mother of the children, told NBC 5 in an exclusive interview.
The father, who also talked to NBC 5, said he hopped out of the vehicle just long enough to meet their mother at the front door of the convenience store when a man got in his car and drove away.
"I almost lost my mind. What went through it -- my mind? Thoughts were just racing, [I was] worried about my kids," Joshua Freeman said.
After a short chase, officers caught up with the car thief crashed the car into a home at Kensington and Colony drives, but police say the children were not in the car.
Mesquite police said 32-year-old Phillip New dropped the children off in a neighborhood.
Officers removed a car seat from where the children were dropped off at Flamingo Way and Aloha Drive.
An eyewitness tells NBC 5 he saw a little girl just standing near where the car seat was picked up. He said the girl wasn't crying and moments later police showed up and took her away.
Mesquite police say the children were not injured.
New was arrested, but police have not said what charges he'll face.
Police say the parents will not face any charges for leaving children in the vehicle.