A Griffin mom is counting her blessings after she made a terrible mistake.
Marquia Jackson told CBS Atlanta News she walked into the Riverdale Dollar General to grab an item and returned two minutes later.
She discovered her car and her three children inside were missing.
"There were no specific thoughts, just find the kids. Find the kids, that's all I could think," Marquia Jackson said.
Jackson was in a rush to get home and decided it was best to leave the children in the car with the motor running.
"My oldest were awake, but the other two babies were asleep. So I didn't want to wake them up to take them out the car," Jackson said.
At first, Jackson thought she had left the store from a different door, but soon discovered her worst fears came true.
"I thought I lost them. I thought I lost them," Jackson said.
After moments of panic, Jackson called 911 and Clayton County police responded, immediately canvassing the area.
But it was her quick-thinking 9-year-old son who saved the day when he called 911 from a cell phone he had with him in the car.
Police were able to track the stolen car and the children inside within an hour.
Officers arrested Billy Cecil Roden Jr, 43.
He is being held in the Clayton County Jail without bond on charges of theft by taking, kidnapping, cruelty to children and giving a false name.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
730 North Summit Street