CHICAGO (CBS)–Twin babies were found strapped in their car seats alone in an alley after their mother’s car was stolen Friday in Richton Park.

The car thief ditched the siblings in an alley, leaving the babies alone on a cold October day 16 miles away from where the car was taken.

A good samaritan happened to see the twins alone and called police.

The car was stolen from a woman who walked away from her car to make a delivery in Riverdale around 12 p.m. on Friday. The car is still missing, but the mom’s precious cargo was returned to her safely thanks to Latricia Bates.

“They smelled good, like new babies,” Bates said. “I just wanted to hug them and keep them safe until they can find their mom.”

Bates was at home Friday afternoon when a man came knocking on her door.

“He said, ‘ma’am there’s two babies in your back alley crying,’ and I said, ‘what’?”

Bates ran to her backyard and could hear the babies crying.

The car thief had left them next to garbage cans, Bates said. The infant’s skin felt cold when she cradled one of them in her arms. The man who made the discovery took the other baby and they rushed inside to warm up.

“I grab one. He grab the other and I grab the car seat and we ran back into my house get them warm,” Bates said. “I don’t know what would’ve happened to those babies. I know this yard has a pitbull. I don’t know that pitbull could a got out and it’s crazy like I said my son got hurt out here and lost his life due to gun violence. I’m just glad I was here.”

Bates says she immediately called police, and was surprised to hear they thought they knew where the babies came from..

As Riverdale police arrived at her house to take the kids to the hospital, she snapped a few photos to send to their mom so she could see they had been found safe.

“I believe they have a really good mom and I believe she was just trying to do a job to make money to take care of her kids and it’s just something unfortunate that people do,” Bates said. “They steal cars and not pay attention to what’s in the backseat.”