REDLANDS (CBSLA.com) — Police asked for the public’s help Wednesday in finding a man they say stole a car and nearly kidnapped two girls who were inside.

Cory Michael Ahumada, 24, of Highland, was identified as a suspect in the auto theft and attempted kidnapping that happened on Father’s Day, at 12:41 p.m. at a 7-Eleven gas station, 1161 Lugonia Ave., in Redlands, police said.

The woman parked her car, a black 2002 Acura TL at a gas pump and left her two daughters, ages 10 and 2, in the car with the engine running while she went inside the pay. Security video footage shows the suspect approach the car, get in the driver’s seat and drive away as the woman runs out of the store.

As the car is driving away, the 10-year-old girl grabbed her sister and jumped from the moving car. Both girls sustained minor scrapes, police said.

The car, California license plate 4UWT026, was last seen getting on to the westbound 210 Freeway from San Bernardino Avenue.

KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz spoke to two eyewitnesses to the abduction.

“We could hear her [the mom] screaming, no, no, no,” said Deriree Aguila.

She and husband Robert Aguila were at the gas station when the attempted abduction took place.

The couple said the mother was in the car for only a few seconds when the suspect jumped into her car.

“It was horrible,” says Aguila, “everybody in the store was crying. The clerks were crying.”

Aguila thinks the 10-year-old should be commended for acting so fast.

“That little girl is a hero. She saved her and her baby sister. The instinct of a small child is amazing.”

Robert Aguila remembered the touching reunion between mother and children.

“Once we got her inside the store,” he said, “she was all emotions. It just hit her. She was hugging onto all of them. She didn’t want to let them go.”

Anyone with information about Ahumada or the crime can contact Redlands Police Detective Mike Merriman at (909) 389-6675 or by email at mmerriman@redlandspolice.org or contact police dispatch at (909) 798-7681.

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