PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — A suspect has been detained in connection to the stolen vehicle that had two children inside Monday evening, a Placer County Sheriff’s spokesperson said.

Investigators say a suspect stole a vehicle from an auto repair shop Monday evening while the owner was inside filling out some paperwork. His kids, ages one and five, were in the car when a man suddenly jumped in and started backing away.

The father was unable to get to his children before the suspect took off.

“The father ran outside to tell the suspect to get out of the car and his two children were inside, but he continued backing up the car and drove off,” Placer County Sheriff’s spokesperson Angela Musallam said.

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The vehicle was found abandoned less than a mile away near Thunder Valley Casino. Officials say the suspect ditched the car but left the kids inside.

“We are very fortunate the children here were not harmed because this could have turned into a kidnapping situation and it did not,” Musallam said.

Charles Hall’s booking photo. (Credit: Placer County Sheriff’s Office)

Deputies used a canine to track down the suspect on the Thunder Valley grounds. A few hours after the incident began, they announced a suspect was in custody and deputies were not searching for any other suspects.

The suspect has been identified as 33-year-old Live Oak resident Charles Hall.

The owner of the auto repair shop where the vehicle was stolen says he plans to implement some increased security measures after this incident.

My heart fell out of my chest when I heard about this situation,” Scott Dwillis, owner of Knutz Auto and Truck, said. “And then this surveillance that we have on-site caught some of the footage of the incident that happened and that just terrifies me more cause you put your own kids in that situation.”

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