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9-year-old girl carries baby brother to safety after man carjacks vehicle with children inside – then suspect leads officers on car chase that ends in collision

Image Source: KVVU-TV video screenshot

Around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, outside a Las Vegas gas station, a man carjacked a woman's vehicle with her two children still inside, KVVU-TV reported.

Karen Quinn, a mother of five, said she stopped at a 7-Eleven to withdraw money from an ATM. She left her 9-year-old daughter and 11-month-old son in her vehicle with the engine running and doors locked.

Quinn stated that she made eye contact with the suspect, who was sitting at a slot machine near the front entrance. He then got up, walked over to her SUV, and looked inside. Quinn said she immediately returned to her car to confront the suspicious man.

"He opened the [car] door and I tried to grab him, and I grabbed his sweater in the door, and he reversed, and kind of rolled over the top of my foot," said Quinn. "And I was like, 'Please, my kids are in the car! Please! My kids are in the car!' He looked back at my daughter. She was like, 'Mom! Mom!'"

She continued, "And I was like, please just let them out, you can have the car. Just let them out, let them out!"

The mother said the man then drove off in her vehicle with her children still inside.

"I chased after the car until I couldn't anymore," she said.

Quinn told the news outlet that she ran for miles before she could no longer pursue the car on foot.

After driving several blocks from where he stole the vehicle, the man pulled over and let the children out. The suspect then drove off with the stolen SUV.

Quinn said that her 9-year-old daughter carried her baby brother back to the convenience store.

"My daughter ran five blocks from the store with my 11-month baby, with no shoes on," said Quinn.

Police found the children and alerted Quinn that they were safe.

Quinn stated, "And he said, 'We have your kids.' And when he said that, I just fell to the ground. I was like, 'Thank you God, thank you God, thank you.'"

Meanwhile, officers pursued the suspect, who was located driving the stolen vehicle on the highway. The suspect led authorities on a chase before ultimately crashing into another vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle suffered only minor injuries.

The suspect attempted to flee from officers on foot but was caught and taken into custody. He was identified as 38-year-old Mario Estrada.

Police stated that Estrada had a suspended license and is now facing several charges, including kidnapping, child abuse, and grand larceny.

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