Woman was buying cigarettes when car was stolen with kids inside at gas station near Kinsman Road

Posted at 6:53 AM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 19:58:28-04

A car was stolen overnight from a gas station in Cleveland with two kids inside.

The children, a five-year-old and a six-year-old, were sitting in the backseat when the car was stolen about 11:45 p.m. near E. 93rd and Kinsman Road.

Investigators say they were gone about a half and hour before they were found safe.

The 26-year-old woman who owned the car told police her boyfriend had driven to their apartment with his two children sleeping in the back of her Dodge Caliber. She later drove to the Shell Gas Station on Kinsman Road with the kids still asleep, according to a Cleveland police news release. 

The woman initially denied she left the vehicle running, but later changed her story and admitted to leaving the keys inside as she went to buy cigarettes. A store clerk told police the woman was inside between 10 to 15 minutes. 

Police arrested the woman and charged her with endangering children, the release said. 

The car was later found about 30 blocks away at 12217 Oakfield Avenue by a police officer. 

The children were taken to a nearby hospital for examination.

A description of the man seen running away from the vehicle on Oakfield Avenue was vague.