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'Worst 30 minutes of my life': Mom whose car was stolen with kids inside warns about 'puffing' dangers

Twin boys were in the vehicle when it was left running and then stolen near West 5th Avenue and Mead Street.

DENVER — It was business as usual for two twin boys Wednesday afternoon after their mom's car was stolen with them inside earlier in the day.

"They had no clue. They're taking a nap right now," said Trisha Doyle. "So they don't even, they have no clue what was going on."

Things could have turned out a lot differently.

The boys, who will turn 2 years old next month, were inside Doyle's car when she stopped back at her home near West 5th Avenue and Mead Street to pick up her older son and take him to school around 7:30 a.m. 

"By the time she got out, in a very short span of time, we're probably talking 30 seconds to a minute, minute 1/2, that car was gone," said Commander Mark Fleecs.

Doyle had left her car running when she went inside. The practice is commonly referred to as "puffing."

"I turned around to come back out," Doyle said. "My heart fell out of my chest when I realized my car wasn't there. And the first thing I thought was, 'What about my children?'"

Doyle immediately called 911.

"I was completely panicked, I ran down the street even to see if I could see where the car had gone," she said. "It was utter panic."

There was a cellphone inside the stolen car and police were able to use an app on it to track it. Within about 30 minutes, the vehicle was located about nine or 10 blocks away with the boys still strapped safely into the car seats.

Doyle is thankful for the quick response from police and is urging others to never leave their car running and unlocked.

"I've seen all of the signs that the police put out in the winter saying it's puffer season," said Doyle. "I knew that it was a possibility. But it never occurred to me that it would really happen to me, and what followed was the worst 30 minutes of my life. So I just want to say to anyone who's watching or listening, don't leave your cars running, it's just not worth it."

RELATED: Puffer Week: Cops crack down on cars left running

No arrests have been made in the case. Police said they're looking for two suspects, a man and a woman, possibly associated with a 2010 Kia Soul. Police described the woman as "heavy set" and said she had dyed her hair either purple or red.

Puffer season runs from Oct. 1 to April 1. During that period last year, 372 vehicles were stolen in Denver alone, according to stats from DPD.

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