HAINES CITY, Fla. -- A Haines City woman said a man jumped in her car and stole it while her two daughters sat in the back seat on Wednesday.
Dana Wilson said she was picking up her neighbor to go grocery shopping when it happened."The guy was in my car and driving away seconds later," Wilson said.
Police said the man who stole the care was Manuel Benitez, who was in the neighborhood possibly to complete a drug deal and needed a quick getaway.
"I was screaming, 'Just leave my kids,'" Wilson said.
Police said Benitez ended up at a home in Davenport after the care broke down a short distance away. They said he carried the two girls, Autumn and Summer, ages 2 and 4 respectively, to the home with him.
"He was a friend of my ex-wife," witness Terry Hunt said.
Hunt said Benitez told two boys in the house to watch the children, changed his shirt, offered Hunt $40 for a baseball cap and looked nervously out the window for deputies.
Police had found the abandoned car and tracked him with dogs.
Benitez was charged with grand theft auto and kidnapping. He's being held without bail.