SAN FRANCISCO - Two young children who were abducted have been reunited with their parents after the van the kids were in was stolen in San Francisco. Police spotted the van seven miles away from where the carjacking occurred.
On Sunday night, the suspects remain outstanding but the kids are resting, unharmed and safe with their parents. Father Jeffrey Fang said the children appear to be largely unaffected.
It’s the reunion so many people were frankly praying for. Four-year-old Winnifred and 1-year-old Sean Fang seen in the arms of their mother after an agonizing four hours after carjackers stole the dad’s Honda Odyssey with the kids inside.
"I am relieved the kids were found safe," said Fang. "I’m happy they’re home."
Fang called it the best possible outcome. On Saturday night, Fang worked for DoorDash and brought his toddlers citing childcare as an issue. What was meant to be a quick delivery in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights turned horrific.
"This is not something that one would expect to happen," said Fang. "I was in the building for a minute."
Fang left the engine running as the kids watched a movie in the back seat. When he returned, a stranger was stealing his car. After a struggle, the suspects drove away with his children.
"We would not rest, we would not relent until these kids were found safely," said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott.
Scott commended his officers, the public and social media. An Amber Alert was issued two hours after the carjacking. Fang said while he wished the Amber Alert would have been issued sooner, he doesn’t fault SFPD who quickly worked the case.
"At approximately 1 a.m. this morning, two San Francisco Police Department officers assigned to the Bayview District police station located the van and the children in the Bayview District," said Chief Scott. "The van was parked in the driveway of a residence."
On Sunday, DoorDash’s CEO issued a statement that said, "We are incredibly relieved that the children are safe. As a father myself, I can only imagine how terrifying this incident must have been." The company is offering full support to the Fang family.
As for Jeffrey Fang, it’s unclear if he will return as a gig worker.
"I’m just glad this was resolved and the kids was not affected as much," said Fang.
A GoFundMe to help the father take time off of work has exceeded its goal of $100,000. San Francisco’s police chief appealed to the suspects to turn themselves in for kidnapping and abandoning the kids. The department vowed not to give up until they're apprehended.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.