West Palm Beach Police searching for suspect who stole a vehicle with two children inside

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - UPDATE: West Palm Beach Police Department arrested 20-year-old Wakin Jean this afternoon in connection with yesterday's vehicle theft involving two toddlers.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - West Palm Beach Police are searching for a suspect who stole a running vehicle with two children inside this afternoon.

Police received a call shortly before noon from a mother who was dropping off paperwork for one of her children at Pleasant City Elementary and left her car running with her other two children inside.

When she came out moments later, her car was gone.

An officer responding to the call found an abandoned vehicle nearby under the Henrietta Bridge with the two children located safely inside.

“The kids are safe, they seem to be fine, basically unaware of what happened.  And the mother has been reunited with them, so we are very happy about that,” explained Sergeant David Lefont.

Police continue to search for the suspect in this case.

“The person was last seen wearing a red tank top and camouflaged pants.  It was a black male.  We’re going to go on an age of about 30 years of age.  We know he took the vehicle and abandoned it within just a couple of minutes after the theft,” Lefont said.

Before police arrived, a passerby noticed the vehicle and children and knocked on the door at Pat Reeves Village, a facility adjacent to the bridge.

Director Daniel Ramos said the scene changed quickly as he came out to see what was happening.

“So, of course, we immediately come out to try to find what’s going on.  Where’s the mom.  And you know, visiting friends, you never know.  And so by the time I get near the car, cops are already on the scene,” Ramos said.

Police have been canvassing the area and they are now looking at video surveillance from nearby buildings in an effort to identify the suspect more specifically.

Anyone with information is asked to call the West Palm Beach Police Department or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County.