THOMASVILLE, N.C.-- A woman has a warning for you after a stranger stole her car with her three kids inside.
A normal morning for Desiree Woods turned chaotic in seconds on November 20th.
She put her three young girls in her car and started it, but went back inside after realizing she forgot something. Her husband was still home.
"As soon as I got to the couch he heard the revving of engine and the first thing he said was the kids," Woods said.
Her husband saw a masked man take off with their daughters.
"First thing I thought is I'd never see my children again," Woods said.
Desiree's husband took off running after the car, while she got the keys to their truck.
"I picked him up around the corner and as we drove around the corner we [saw] the suspect let the kids out at the park and all of a sudden he just took off."
just as quickly as the chase started, it ended. The criminal dropped off the kids at a nearby park.
"In a matter of probably five minutes we were able to find her girls with teamwork," Woods said.
More than a week later the car is still missing. It's a white 2011 Hyundai Sonata with the tag EJM-5648 and a lot of meaningful things inside.
"They did not only steal my car they stole gift for my kids. My children, my oldest daughter special needs. So that car really took an affect on us," Woods said.
No matter what they're missing, the family is counting their blessings.
"The car can be replaced. The gifts can be replaced. My children can't."
Woods says she will never leave her keys in her car again and urges you to do the same.
Thomasville police say the theft is not an isolated incident. In fact, they say there's been a rash of car break-ins and thefts in the last month.
To prevent thefts, police recommend to lock your car and hide your valuables.