A Waco man was arrested this weekend after he left two children in a running car while he went grocery shopping on Sunday, Bellmead police Lt. Brenda Kinsey said.

Robert Lee Jennings Jr., 23, was arrested outside H-E-B, 801 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, shortly before 5:40 p.m., after a shopper reported seeing two young children alone in a car, Kinsey said. Police arrived four minutes later and found a 6-month-old boy and a 2-year-old girl alone in a car that was unlocked and running, Kinsey said.

Officers opened the car doors and got the children out. Kinsey said the 6-month-old boy was in a car seat, but it was not properly secured in the car.

Officers were able to locate the driver of the car, Jennings, 10 to 15 minutes later, she said. Jennings told officers that he intended to purchase a few items in the store and return quickly to the children, Kinsey said.

Police arrested Jennings on two state jail felony charges of abandoning a child with intent to return. He was taken to McLennan County Jail, where he remained Tuesday with bond listed at $12,000.

The children's mother was called, and they were released to her, Kinsey said.

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Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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