Two children were found safe after the car they were sitting in was stolen just north of downtown Nashville.
According to Metro Police, Sierra Jackson drove to Music City Central, MTA's downtown transit station on Charlotte Avenue, around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning.
She stopped to pick up her paycheck at the Dunkin' Donuts inside the bus terminal.
Jackson left the keys in the car, with the engine running, and went inside.
A short time later, an unidentified man got behind the wheel and drove away.
"To anyone who thinks, 'Oh, I'll just be gone for a minute.' This could be very dangerous," said Metro police Spokesperson Kristin Mumford. "It just takes a second for someone to steal a car."
The suspect got away with more than the car. Jackson's two children were in the backseat.
Minutes later, the car was found by construction workers a half mile down the road in a parking lot near Bicentennial Mall at Harrison Street and Fifth Avenue North.
The 1-year-old girl and the 5-year-old boy were still inside, unharmed. The suspect was gone.
"We believe that the suspect probably realized very quickly that there was a 1-year-old and 5-year-old in the backseat." Mumford said. "So, fortunately, within about 10 minutes, the car was recovered."
Nashville's News 2 was the only news station to capture the emotional reunion between the mother and her children.
Following the family reunion, Jackson's sister told Nashville's News 2 that Jackson left the car for less than five minutes before it was taken.
Metro Police remind the public that it is a crime to leave young children unattended in a vehicle.
"It really is very dangerous to leave your keys in the car with it running, with children in the backseat," Mumford said. "Even if it is just for a minute, because it takes a second for someone to jump in the car and take the vehicle."
The Department of Youth Services is investigating to determine if charges will be filed against Jackson.
Police continue to look for the car theft suspect. An immediate K-9 track to find him after the car was recovered was unsuccessful.
The 5-year-old described the suspect only as a thin, black man.
If caught, the suspect could face kidnapping charges in addition to vehicle theft.
Anyone with information is urged to call Metro Police at 615-862-8600.