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MINNEAPOLIS – An 11-year-old boy’s quick thinking is credited with saving him and his siblings, when the van they were in was stolen by a car thief.

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Minneapolis police told KARE that the children’s parents had stepped away from their van just before 3 p.m. on Sunday, leaving it running with their five children inside. Just moments after they stepped away, an unknown man jumped into the driver’s seat and started speeding away.

“He said that he needed the car, that’s all,” Edwin Rivera, the 11-year-old in the car, told KTSP. “I told him that if he wanted it he could take it, but just to let us go.”

Rivera told the station that his father had been in the car with them while their mother went into a store, but when his mother forgot her phone, their father ran to bring it to her, giving the thief an opportunity.

“My dad told me to lock it, and right when I got up my dad went into the store and then the guy started running towards the door and he (got there before I could lock it),” Rivera told KTSP.

Police told KARE that while the car was driving, Edwin Rivera started trying to convince the thief to let him and his brothers go. The thief did just that, leaving the boys on the side of the road and driving off.

“It was terrifying,” Ilse Rivera, Edwin’s mother, told KTSP.

Minneapolis police told KARE they found the stolen van and arrested the 48-year-old man driving it on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle. A woman inside the van when it was found was released, and investigators are still working to determine whether the man who was driving the car when it was found was the same person who stole it, KARE reported.