Two sisters, in matching turquoise shirts and pink pants, hugged and played in the parking lot Thursday night, safe in their aunt and uncle's arms after a stranger stole the family car with the girls in the back seat.
"I'm just so glad they are safe," said Ian, their uncle.
The car thief dumped the Lexus SUV in a parking lot near West Lincoln and Knott avenues in Anaheim. Police believe it was after he realized he wasn't alone in the car.
In the back seat was 5-year-old Alexy. She played protector to her little sister, Angel.
"I was saving my sister from getting hurt," Alexy said. "My sister was scared. I said, 'It's OK. You're here with me.'"
Police believe the thief saw a crime of opportunity. The girls with their aunt, stopped by the yet-to-be open family nail salon business in Anaheim.
It was supposed to be a quick pit stop.
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"She left it running and came inside, heard the engine kinda roar up and she screamed," said Ian, who ran until he lost sight of the car. "I hopped out and chased after the car as far as I could."