By Tara Molina

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police are searching for a man accused of stealing a car with two kids inside in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, before later dropping them off and fleeing.

Their 39-year-old mother fought back at the gas station where the man hopped in her car with her kids in the backseat around 5 p.m.

But the man took off. A doorbell camera caught what happened next.

The car, just stolen from the gas station parking lot in the 5900 block of West Montrose Avenue, slowed down in a nearby neighborhood.

The driver dropped off the 2-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl he took off with.

Then he sped away.

Jennifer Villanueva saw it happen.

“I was in front of my house putting up decorations with my children and a car just sped halfway and came right in front and I turned around to look and I saw this man taking kids out of the car and they’re screaming and crying and then he sped off,” Villanueva said.

As a mother herself, she stepped in.

“Because I have my own children I gave them some cookies and juice and we just waited for the police,” Villanueva said.

CBS 2 is told the mother is doing alright tonight — and so are her children.

“She’s a hero in my book, her clothes are completely torn. It looked like he dragged her,” Villanueva said. “But she did what any mother would do which is fight because her kids are in the car.”

But Villanueva told CBS 2, as a fellow parent, she’s thankful, too, because she knows it could have gone differently.

“I shudder to think what would have happened if he had kept going,” she said.

Police are still looking for the man who took off. They haven’t released a description of him yet, but the story will be updated as it develops.

Tara Molina