COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Columbus Police now searching for a suspected thief who drove off in a running car while a mom and three kids were seated in the backseat.
"It could've gone so much different, he could've killed them," said Erika who asked not to be identified, because the guy who stole her Black SUV Wednesday night was still on the streets.
Erica tells us she pulled into a Marathon Gas station on Parsons Avenue around 7pm to buy lottery tickets and left her grown daughter and three grand kids sitting in the unlocked and running vehicle.
That's when Columbus Police say a man jumped into the car and drove off with the kids and young woman in the back seat
"He wanted her money, she was telling him, she didn't have any money, she was begging for their lives and safety," said Erica, as she told ABC 6/FOX 28 how he daughter tried to get the crook to pull over and let them go.
Police say the thief grabbed ten bucks and abandoned the car and family unharmed a few blocks away.
"I just thank God that my family is OK," said Erica.
The suspect is described as a white male, 40-50 years old, skinny, blue eyes, gray hair, scruffy beard, and foul smelling.
Anyone with info on the suspect's identity is asked to contact Det. Thomas in CPD's Robbery Unit at 614-645-4588 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.