A man who stole a car in San Bernardino late Sunday night with two small children in the back seat was followed and ultimately arrested because of the vigilance of three good Samaritans, police said.
The frantic series of events began in the parking lot of Rocky Market on East Highland Avenue about 11:30 p.m., when police said a mother ran inside to grab drinks for her two children who were strapped into car seats in the back of the vehicle, according to San Bernardino police Lt. Rich Lawhead.
The woman left her car running, the air conditioner on and parked directly in front of the market window so she could see the car from inside the store, Lawhead said.
But outside was Steven Young, 21, a local transient, police said.
When the mother "took her eyes off the car for a minute," Young jumped in and began to pull away, Lawhead said.
The mother was leaving the store just as the gray sedan was backing up, so she jumped on the hood to try and stop the driver from fleeing, Lawhead said. Young allegedly swerved left and right until the mother was shaken off, then he sped off, police said.
But two people in another car in the parking lot watched the entire scene and followed Young, who crashed about two miles away when the car ran up onto a curb, Lawhead said. Two tires were popped and Young ran off, police said. The children were uninjured and the two people who followed stayed at the scene.
But a third Samaritan who was walking in the area saw Young running away from the scene and pointed out where he was hiding to officers, Lawhead said. Young was found by a police dog hiding in a garage, officials said.
Young was arrested and jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and carjacking.
The mother, who couldn't afford a tow truck, was able to make it home with her kids after an officer changed her tires for her, police said.
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