CINCINNATI (WDTN/WLWT) – The man who triggered an Amber Alert near Cincinnati is due in court Monday.
33-year-old Howard Mullis is facing kidnapping and theft charges.
Police say he stole an SUV with three children inside in Colerain Township Saturday.
Mullis later ditched with the children still inside and tried to run from police before being caught.
It happened at the Pit Stop at the corner of Pippin Road and Galbraith Road in Colerain Township shortly after 2:00 p.m. Saturday.
Two 4-year-olds and a 1-year-old were inside the vehicle when it was taken.
An Amber Alert was issued, and shortly after 5 p.m. the vehicle and children were located safe in a Walmart parking lot.
Their father called 911 in a panic.
“My kids. They stole my car, my kids are in my car,” he said.
Mullis stole the SUV as the father stepped into a store and left the car running.
“He was only out of the car 30 seconds to a minute.The guy had been sitting right in front of this trash can all morning long. So I guess he was just waiting on someone to pull up,” witness Keith Lipscomb said.
The three kids went for a wild ride as their father attempted to chase the suspect in another car with a good Samaritan.
“We’re on Crosstown, about to get on 275. I’m in the car with somebody who’s chasing him,” the father told dispatchers.
They lost the car as chase speeds topped 100 miles an hour.
“I do not know what goes through a mind of someone.I can understand the idea of maybe taking a car, but with kids in the back seat? Once you find out I would think you would realize you’re world’s going to fall apart once you get caught,” Colerain Township police public information officer James Love said.
“I’m just shook. I’m at a loss for words. I don’t know what to say because you know these kids, these babies, you want to know where these babies are at. I hope this dude just pull over and just, you keep running, and leave these babies alone,” Lipscomb said.
An employee at an eyeglass store spotted the SUV and the kids around 4:30 in a parking lot off Colerain Avenue.
“The whole situation is just crazy,” Lipscomb said.
Mullis is at the Hamilton County Justice Center awaiting arraignment.He was found in a wooded area shortly after the stolen SUV was located.The kid’s father told WLWT said he is glad they’re all home and doing ok.Grab the FREE WDTN News App for iPhone or Android. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, weather and sports.