Police: NC man steals car, doesn’t realize 2 children inside

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Brian Keith Allen Jr., 22, of Clayton is charged with stealing a car. (Photo: Clayton Police Department)

CLAYTON, NC (AP) — Police say a man who stole a car with two children inside at a gas station in North Carolina hadn’t realized they were in the back seat and helped return them to their parents unharmed.

News outlets quote a statement from Clayton police as saying 22-year-old Brian Keith Allen Jr. was charged with stealing a car and second-degree kidnapping.

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Police say the mother of the children, ages 7 and 3, had left them in the running car at a gas pump Saturday night. Police say the station is well-lit and in a popular shopping area.

The mother’s phone was in the car and Allen let the 7-year-old call an uncle. The children were picked up at Allen’s home and he was arrested.

It’s unclear if he has a lawyer who could comment.